I support the Long Now Foundation. It wants to shift our fast paced, fast thinking culture toward long term thinking. Among their many projects they are assembling the 3,500 books most essential for sustaining or rebuilding humanity.

Its co-founder Stewart Brand (also founder of the Whole Earth Catalogue) contributed 76 books to the list. All but one are authored by men. Hmmm something wrong here.

It got me thinking about the women authors who should be on the list. They include in no particular order:

  1. Simone Weill – The Need for Roots
  2. Margaret Atwood – The MaddAddam trilogy
  3. Eva Kittay – Love’s Labour: Essays on Women, Equality and Dependency
  4. Marian Tompson – The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
  5. Angeles Arrien – The Four-Fold Way
  6. Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice
  7. Starhawk – Truth or Dare
  8. Ursula Franklin – The Real World of Technology
  9. Naomi Klein – No Logo
  10. Aung San Suu Kyi – The Voice of Hope
  11. Vandana Shiva – Monocultures of the Mind
  12. Jane Jacobs – The Death and Life of Great American Cities
  13. Francis Westley, Brenda Zimmerman, Michael Quinn Patton – Getting to Maybe
  14. Mary Wollstonecraft – A Vindication of the Rights of Women
  15. Maria Montessori – The Discovery of the Child
  16. Jane Goodall – In the Shadow of Man
  17. Hannah Arendt – The Human Condition
  18. Simone de Beauvoir – The Second Sex
  19. Margaret Somerville – The Ethical Canary: Science, Society and the Human Spirit
  20. Hilary Mantel –Wolf Hall
  21. Margaret MacMillan – Paris 1919
  22. Marion Woodman- The Ravaged Bridegroom : Masculinity in Women
  23. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz – Sor Juana Anthology
  24. Karen Armstrong – The Spiral Staircase
  25. Doris Lessing – The Golden Notebook

I’m just getting started here. I’ve left out Marie Currie, Adelaide Hoodless, Barb Goode, Saint Marie-Marguerite D’Youville, Mary Oliver, Martha Nussbaum and so many more.

Who would you add?

Sustaining and rebuilding humanity requires another mind shift – one that leaves much more room for women thinkers and doers. An exclusive reliance on guys isn’t working all that well, given our elusive social, economic and environmental challenges.

NOTE: Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been blogging for the past year. I’ve spent a lot of that time drafting a book. To my surprise three books emerged. I’m polishing the first one. Once it’s ready I’m itching to start blogging again.

4 Comments

  1. Lorna Aberdein

    I’ve missed your blogs Al but looking forward to the first of your three new books. How exciting!
    About more women authors for the 3,500 books most essential for sustaining or rebuilding humanity, I would also include Margaret Wheatley. So many of her books are relevant – SO FAR FROM HOME: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World;
    WALK OUT WALK ON: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now; TURNING TO ONE ANOTHER: SIMPLE CONVERSATIONS TO RESTORE HOPE TO THE FUTURE to name a few.

  2. Donna Thomson

    This is a great idea! I’m so pleased you included Eva Kittay’s Love’s Labor. Her work inspires me daily.

  3. Alexander Rose

    These are great to see I hope you submit a full list when you have it. Here are Violet Blue’s selections: http://blog.longnow.org/02014/03/11/violet-blue-list-for-manual/

  4. Jules Andre-Brown

    Welcome back to blogging!

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