100 books like The Republic of Plato

By Allan Bloom (translator),

Here are 100 books that The Republic of Plato fans have personally recommended if you like The Republic of Plato. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Tristes Tropiques

William Ophuls Author Of Plato's Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology

From my list on modern politics and industrial civilization.

Why am I passionate about this?

William Ophuls served as a Foreign Service Officer in Washington, Abidjan, and Tokyo before receiving a PhD in political science from Yale University in 1973. His Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity published in 1977 laid bare the ecological, social, and political challenges confronting modern industrial civilization. It was honored by the Kammerer and Sprout awards. After teaching briefly at Northwestern University, he became an independent scholar and author. He has since published a number of works extending and deepening his original argument, most prominently Requiem for Modern Politics in 1997, Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology in 2011, and Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail in 2013.

William's book list on modern politics and industrial civilization

William Ophuls Why did William love this book?

A classic work of philosophical anthropology containing the record of one anthropologist’s search for what it means to be human. Part personal memoir, part vivid travelogue, part scientific milestone, part critique of civilization, and all tour de force, the work defies easy categorization. Another rich playground for the intellect.

By Doreen Weightman, John Weightman, Claude Levi-Strauss

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tristes Tropiques as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A milestone in the study of culture from the father of structural anthropology

This watershed work records Claude Lévi-Strauss's search for "a human society reduced to its most basic expression." From the Amazon basin through the dense upland jungles of Brazil, Lévi-Strauss found the societies he was seeking among the Caduveo, Bororo, Nambikwara, and Tupi-Kawahib. More than merely recounting his time in their midst, Tristes Tropiques places the cultural practices of these peoples in a global context and extrapolates a fascinating theory of culture that has given the book an importance far beyond the fields of anthropology and continental philosophy.…


Book cover of Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Darren Campo Author Of Alex Detail's Revolution

From my list on young love confronting cosmic forces like UFOs and life after death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love people who are totally lost because they are on the brink of their greatest discovery–their true nature. Even as a little boy I remember seeing that everyone has a purpose in life, but that is hidden to them. I have always felt that every step of the way, life seems to be a little off-track. But through authentic stories, I came to an understanding that right now, everyone is doing great things with their lives, even if they can’t see it.

Darren's book list on young love confronting cosmic forces like UFOs and life after death

Darren Campo Why did Darren love this book?

I love Carl Jung’s ability to see into the nature of consciousness and make the connection between the experience of being a being on Earth and the true nature of our being. He is one of the first scientists to describe the near-death experience and to see it as another trick of the dualistic world.

Jung explains how, during his heart attack, he died and was transported above the earth to a doorway guarded by a cosmically dangerous spike. Jung’s observations as a scientist and doctor about what makes us tick are a foundation for people realizing their true nature through people like David Bingham today.

By C.G. Jung, Aniela Jaffe (editor), Clara Winston (translator) , Richard Winston (translator)

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Memories, Dreams, Reflections as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I can understand myself only in the light of inner happenings. It is these that make up the singularity of my life, and with these my autobiography deals' Carl Jung

An eye-opening biography of one of the most influential psychiatrists of the modern age, drawing from his lectures, conversations, and own writings.

In the spring of 1957, when he was eighty-one years old, Carl Gustav Jung undertook the telling of his life story. Memories, Dreams, Reflections is that book, composed of conversations with his colleague and friend Aniela Jaffe, as well as chapters written in his own hand, and other…


Book cover of Walden and Civil Disobedience

William Ophuls Author Of Plato's Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology

From my list on modern politics and industrial civilization.

Why am I passionate about this?

William Ophuls served as a Foreign Service Officer in Washington, Abidjan, and Tokyo before receiving a PhD in political science from Yale University in 1973. His Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity published in 1977 laid bare the ecological, social, and political challenges confronting modern industrial civilization. It was honored by the Kammerer and Sprout awards. After teaching briefly at Northwestern University, he became an independent scholar and author. He has since published a number of works extending and deepening his original argument, most prominently Requiem for Modern Politics in 1997, Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology in 2011, and Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail in 2013.

William's book list on modern politics and industrial civilization

William Ophuls Why did William love this book?

Another profound critique of “civilized” values. Thoreau is like Plato in that he always drills down to bedrock truth: What is it that makes for a good life? Individually and collectively?

Be prepared for longueurs. Those who want a pithier critique along more contemporary lines might enjoy the works of the late Ivan Illich, especially Tools for Conviviality.

By Henry David Thoreau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Walden and Civil Disobedience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Henry David Thoreau reflects on life, politics, and society in these two inspiring masterworks: Walden and Civil Disobedience.

In 1845, Thoreau moved to a cabin that he built with his own hands along the shores of Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Shedding the trivial ties that he felt bound much of humanity, Thoreau reaped from the land both physically and mentally, and pursued truth in the quiet of nature. In Walden, he explains how separating oneself from the world of men can truly awaken the sleeping self. Thoreau holds fast to the notion that you have not truly existed until you…


Book cover of The First and Second Discourses

William Ophuls Author Of Plato's Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology

From my list on modern politics and industrial civilization.

Why am I passionate about this?

William Ophuls served as a Foreign Service Officer in Washington, Abidjan, and Tokyo before receiving a PhD in political science from Yale University in 1973. His Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity published in 1977 laid bare the ecological, social, and political challenges confronting modern industrial civilization. It was honored by the Kammerer and Sprout awards. After teaching briefly at Northwestern University, he became an independent scholar and author. He has since published a number of works extending and deepening his original argument, most prominently Requiem for Modern Politics in 1997, Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology in 2011, and Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail in 2013.

William's book list on modern politics and industrial civilization

William Ophuls Why did William love this book?

Rousseau took up the critique of civilized politics where Plato left off. All later critics of capitalism, technology, and media—e.g., Karl Marx, Jacques Ellul, and Neil Postman—stand in his debt. And many of his most radical insights have been amply confirmed by contemporary anthropologists. In short, a rich playground for the intellect.

By Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Roger D. Masters, Judith R. Masters (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The First and Second Discourses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As one of the most respected translations of this key work of 18th-century philosophy, this edition of First and Second Discourses contains abundant notes that range from simple explanations to speculative interpretations.


Book cover of Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism

Carolyn L. Kane Author Of Electrographic Architecture: New York Color, Las Vegas Light, and America's White Imaginary

From my list on how and why things are chosen as beautiful.

Why am I passionate about this?

Understanding the world is important for everyone. For me, it takes the form of analyzing colorful images and artifacts in the built environment. In the broad traditions of the global northwest, color is regarded as deceptive and unreliable. For centuries now, and throughout disparate media and technical systems, color has had to maintain this secondary, subordinate status as “other,” linked to falsity, manipulation, and deceit or, to quote David Batchelor, “some ‘foreign’ body". In my work, I argue that we have all inherited this tradition in the global northwest, fetishizing color as both excessive and yet indispensable in its capacity to retroactively confirm the sanctity of what it is not.

Carolyn's book list on how and why things are chosen as beautiful

Carolyn L. Kane Why did Carolyn love this book?

Fredric Jameson’s Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism was one of the first accounts of “postmodern aesthetics” and why it continues to matter today.

Circa 1990, Jameson showed how a new age of high-tech and transnational corporations fundamentally transformed how we create and experience art, design, and aesthetics.

By Fredric Jameson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in paperback, Fredric Jameson's most wide-ranging work seeks to crystalize a definition of "postmodernism". Jameson's inquiry looks at the postmodern across a wide landscape, from "high" art to "low" from market ideology to architecture, from painting to "punk" film, from video art to literature.


Book cover of The Question Concerning Technology: And Other Essays

Carolyn L. Kane Author Of Electrographic Architecture: New York Color, Las Vegas Light, and America's White Imaginary

From my list on how and why things are chosen as beautiful.

Why am I passionate about this?

Understanding the world is important for everyone. For me, it takes the form of analyzing colorful images and artifacts in the built environment. In the broad traditions of the global northwest, color is regarded as deceptive and unreliable. For centuries now, and throughout disparate media and technical systems, color has had to maintain this secondary, subordinate status as “other,” linked to falsity, manipulation, and deceit or, to quote David Batchelor, “some ‘foreign’ body". In my work, I argue that we have all inherited this tradition in the global northwest, fetishizing color as both excessive and yet indispensable in its capacity to retroactively confirm the sanctity of what it is not.

Carolyn's book list on how and why things are chosen as beautiful

Carolyn L. Kane Why did Carolyn love this book?

Yes, this is an essay, not a book. But it is such a good essay that the entire book has been re-printed with its title!

The essay is an excellent exegesis on understanding why “technology is not really about technology.” For Heidegger, the question concerning technology is a question about “being in the world”: our orientation, proclivities, values, and habits.

By Martin Heidegger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Question Concerning Technology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As relevant now as ever before, this accessible collection is an essential landmark in the philosophy of science from "one of the most profound thinkers of the twentieth century" (New York Times).

The advent of machine technology has given rise to some of the deepest problems of modern thought. Featuring the celebrated essay "The Question Concerning Technology," this prescient volume contains Martin Heidegger's groundbreaking investigation into the pervasive "enframing" character of our understanding of ourselves and the world.



Book cover of The Critique of Judgement

Carolyn L. Kane Author Of Electrographic Architecture: New York Color, Las Vegas Light, and America's White Imaginary

From my list on how and why things are chosen as beautiful.

Why am I passionate about this?

Understanding the world is important for everyone. For me, it takes the form of analyzing colorful images and artifacts in the built environment. In the broad traditions of the global northwest, color is regarded as deceptive and unreliable. For centuries now, and throughout disparate media and technical systems, color has had to maintain this secondary, subordinate status as “other,” linked to falsity, manipulation, and deceit or, to quote David Batchelor, “some ‘foreign’ body". In my work, I argue that we have all inherited this tradition in the global northwest, fetishizing color as both excessive and yet indispensable in its capacity to retroactively confirm the sanctity of what it is not.

Carolyn's book list on how and why things are chosen as beautiful

Carolyn L. Kane Why did Carolyn love this book?

Also one of the most comprehensive philosophical accounts of aesthetic judgment and why taste is taste and not something else…Even though it was penned circa 1790, it still has many gems of insight for the present, especially when it comes to our biases and prejudices regarding color, charm, and sense perception.

For example, Kant writes of color: “The colours which give brilliancy to the sketch are part of the charm. They may no doubt, in their own way, enliven the object for sensation, but make it really worth looking at and beautiful they cannot.” (¶14; p. 56)

By Immanuel Kant, James Creed Meredith (translator), Nicholas Walker (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Critique of Judgement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'beauty has purport and significance only for human beings, for beings at once animal and rational'

In the Critique of Judgement (1790) Kant offers a penetrating analysis of our experience of the beautiful and the sublime, discussing the objectivity of taste, aesthetic disinterestedness, the relation of art and nature, the role of imagination, genius and originality, the limits of representation and the connection between morality and the aesthetic. He also investigates the validity of our judgements concerning the apparent purposiveness of nature with respect to the highest
interests of reason and enlightenment.

The work profoundly influenced the artists and writers…


Book cover of Theory of Colours

Carolyn L. Kane Author Of Electrographic Architecture: New York Color, Las Vegas Light, and America's White Imaginary

From my list on how and why things are chosen as beautiful.

Why am I passionate about this?

Understanding the world is important for everyone. For me, it takes the form of analyzing colorful images and artifacts in the built environment. In the broad traditions of the global northwest, color is regarded as deceptive and unreliable. For centuries now, and throughout disparate media and technical systems, color has had to maintain this secondary, subordinate status as “other,” linked to falsity, manipulation, and deceit or, to quote David Batchelor, “some ‘foreign’ body". In my work, I argue that we have all inherited this tradition in the global northwest, fetishizing color as both excessive and yet indispensable in its capacity to retroactively confirm the sanctity of what it is not.

Carolyn's book list on how and why things are chosen as beautiful

Carolyn L. Kane Why did Carolyn love this book?

In 1810, after decades of color rationalizations in early modern science, romantic poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) attempted to return color to its pre-Socratic, Homeric lifeworld.

His Zür Farbenlehre (Theory of Colors) glorified color for all of its inconsistencies and mysteries, making subjective perception—in marked contrast to Newton’s 1704 color theory—the most central and sacred to human experience, in service of achieving the “highest aesthetic ends.” For Goethe, color arose “in the spectrum” between black and white, a phenomenological observation dating back to Aristotelean antiquity.

Over two centuries later, this is still a fantastic guidebook for anyone interested in the phenomenology of color, light, and scintillations of subjective perception.

By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Charles Lock Eastlake (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Theory of Colours as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By closely following Goethe's explanations of the color phenomena, the reader may become so divorced from the wavelength theory—Goethe never even mentions it—that he may begin to think about color theory relatively unhampered by prejudice, ancient or modern.

By the time Goethe's Theory of Colours appeared in 1810, the wavelength theory of light and color had been firmly established. To Goethe, the theory was the result of mistaking an incidental result for an elemental principle. Far from pretending to a knowledge of physics, he insisted that such knowledge was an actual hindrance to understanding. He based his conclusions exclusively upon…


Book cover of The Republic

Beverly A. Li Author Of The Elbow Grease Legacy

From my list on seeking to unravel dysfunctional family cycles.

Why am I passionate about this?

It took a career as a librarian to help me understand my need for order, instead of the emotional chaos I grew up with in a large family. Being the child of an alcoholic father and a codependent mother gave me little personal value. After gaining some sense of worth in college, I wanted to give my kids the stability and support every child deserves, but I had to learn how to do this. I used my resources: education, self-scrutiny, honesty, art, nature, and the good Lord of the universe.

Beverly's book list on seeking to unravel dysfunctional family cycles

Beverly A. Li Why did Beverly love this book?

The key to understanding our lives is to enlarge our perspectives, and human behavior hasn’t changed much in 2000 years.

Plato gives several suggestions for maintaining stability in organized society, including guarding against the influence of Sophists, who manipulate language to manipulate their listeners, reminding me of our salesmen today.

Especially valuable is his allegory of the cave, where educators present images to an audience chained in place since early childhood. The glare of the sun awaits anyone who manages to leave the cave, and coming back in won’t be easy, but those who leave and find genuine truth need to come back and serve those still in the cave. Make the world a better place.

By Plato, Desmond Lee (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Republic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic translation of the cornerstone work of western philosophy

Plato's Republic is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential works in the history of philosophy. Presented in the form of a dialogue between Socrates and three different interlocutors, it is an inquiry into the notion of a perfect community and the ideal individual within it. During the conversation other questions are raised: what is goodness; what is reality; what is knowledge; what is the purpose of education? With remarkable lucidity and deft use of allegory, Plato arrives at a depiction of a state bound by harmony and ruled…


Book cover of Utopia

Peter Zarrow Author Of Abolishing Boundaries: Global Utopias in the Formation of Modern Chinese Political Thought, 1880-1940

From my list on utopianism east and west.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a teenager, I thought we could create a perfect world—or if not quite perfect, at least much, much better than the one we are currently destroying. Actually, I still think it’s possible, just a lot harder and a lot more dangerous than I originally thought. I’ve been interested in all the efforts to imagine and create utopias, which sometimes produce hells instead of heavens, ever since. I have evolved (I think it’s progress) from being a high school Maoist to something more mature while watching China’s attempts to improve the lives of its citizens with respect and sympathy.

Peter's book list on utopianism east and west

Peter Zarrow Why did Peter love this book?

This is the OG of utopias—written in 1516 about people living on a distant island. Later writers made up utopias set in the future, but More’s island is still fun to read about. A place where there is no private property, no one desires wealth, all citizens are equal, and all religions are tolerated—though there is no privacy (or premarital sex) either. Nobody knows whether More meant it as satire or longing, or even if we should translate u-topia as “no-place” or “good-place.”

By Thomas More,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Utopia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in Latin in 1516, Utopia was the work of Sir Thomas More (1477–1535), the brilliant humanist, scholar, and churchman executed by Henry VIII for his refusal to accept the king as the supreme head of the Church of England.
In this work, which gave its name to the whole genre of books and movements hypothesizing an ideal society, More envisioned a patriarchal island kingdom that practiced religious tolerance, in which everybody worked, no one has more than his fellows, all goods were community-owned, and violence, bloodshed, and vice nonexistent. Based to some extent on the writings of Plato…


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