What Books Every High School Student Should Have Read
"The works of Shakespeare, the Declaration of Independence, Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" and the Bible lead the list of works that every high school student ought to be required to read, in the opinion of some scholars, journalists, teachers and governmental and cultural leaders.
"Mr. Bennett put the question to a list of experts of his own selection.
"Responses from 325 people were compiled, 73 replying to Bennett's letter, 84 to an article that George F. Will, the syndicated columnist, devoted to the project and 168 high school teachers who took part in summer seminars sponsored by the Government agency and the Mellon Foundation.
"Thirty works were mentioned most frequently. Mr. Bennett commented that any 10 of them "would compare favorably to what is read in many schools," and added that he himself had not read all 30 on the list.
"No book published in the last 30 years made the list.
"Shakespeare's plays, especially "Macbeth" and "Hamlet," were the only works listed by a majority of the participants - 71 percent.
"Fifty percent cited such documents of United States history as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Next came "Huckleberry Finn," the Bible and these works of literature, philosophy and politics:
- Homer's "Odyssey" and "Iliad."
- Dickens's "Great Expectations" and "Tale of Two Cities."
- Plato's "Republic."
- John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath."
- Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter."
- Sophocles' "Oedipus."
- Melville's "Moby Dick."
- Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four."
- Thoreau's "Walden."
- The poems of Robert Frost.
- Whitman's "Leaves of Grass."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby."
- Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales."
- Marx's "Communist Manifesto."
- Aristotle's "Politics."
- The poems of Emily Dickinson.
- Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment."
- The novels of William Faulkner.
- J. D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye."
- De Tocqueville's "Democracy in America."
- Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."
- The essays and poems of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
- Machiavelli's "Prince."
- Milton's "Paradise Lost."
- Tolstoy's "War and Peace."
- Virgil's "Aeneid.""