Brian Eno’s Selected Books for the Manual for Civilization

Long Now co-founder Brian Eno. Photo: Pete Forsyth

Twenty books suggested by Long Now’s Founding Board Member Brian Eno were the very first in a series of lists additions to our Manual for Civilization collection. This library will eventually include 3,500 books that can help sustain or rebuild civilization.

Here are Brian Eno’s recommendations:

Seeing Like a State by James C Scott

The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art by David Lewis-Williams

The Mind in the Cave by David Lewis-Williams

Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti

The Wheels of Commerce by Fernand Braudel

Keeping Together in Time by William McNeill

Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich

Roll Jordan Roll by Eugene Genovese

The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstein

A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al

The Face of Battle by John Keegan

Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich; Roll Jordan Roll by Eugene Genovese ; The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstein

A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor

Contingency, Irony and Solidarity by Richard Rorty

The Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

The Confidence Trap by David Runciman

The Confidence Trap by David Runciman

Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection by Sarah Hrdy

The Cambridge World History of Food (2-Volume Set) by Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Coneè Ornelas

The Illustrated Flora of Britain and Northern Europe by Marjorie Blamey & Christopher Grey Wilson

Printing and the Mind of Man by John Carter & Percy Muir

Peter the Great: His Life and World by Richard Massie

Eno visited The Interval while it was under consstuction in 02014. Photo: Alexander Rose

Our thanks to Brian, it is an honor and privilege to be able to share this list of some of the books that are most important to him with the world.

We have many more book lists from this project that you can see including selections by founding Long Now board members Stewart Brand and Kevin Kelly; plus list by authors Neal Stephenson, George Dyson, David Brin, Bruce Sterling, Violet Blue, and Daniel Suarez; archivists Megan and Rick Prelinger; artist Mark Pauline, and many more.

Learn more about The Manual for Civilization project.

This list is an excerpt of the 3,500 book crowd-curated Manual For Civilization library which we are compiling to back up the essential knowledge of civilization. More than 800 titles are already available online at The Internet Archive.

Originally published at on February 28, 02014.