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Mary Beard's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Mary Beard recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Mary Beard's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Professor Douglas makes points which illuminate matters in the philosophy of religion and the philosophy of science and help to show the rest of us just why and how anthropology has become a fundamentally intellectual discipline. less
Recommended by Mary Beard, and 1 others.

Mary BeardIt’s regarded as quite old-fashioned now and the author Mary Douglas, who died recently, somewhat recanted on many of the things that she said. But, for me and still for many of my students, it’s a book that really opened my eyes. It showed me that you could theorize about things that you had always taken for granted and thought didn’t need explaining. Douglas set out to defamiliarize our own... (Source)

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Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology

Recommended by Mary Beard, and 1 others.

Mary BeardOh very sober, very sober! I think I’ve chosen these books because all of them made a big difference to me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. With Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology by Moses Finley it’s all about politics. (Source)

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The Annals

The Reigns of Tiberius, Claudius and Nero

Here is a lively new translation of Cornelius Tacitus' timeless history of three of Rome's most memorable emperors. Tacitus, who condemns the depravity of these rulers, which he saw as proof of the corrupting force of absolute power, writes caustically of the brutal and lecherous Tiberius, the weak and cuckolded Claudius, and "the artist" Nero. In particular, his gripping account of the bloody reigns of Tiberius and Nero brims with plots, murder, poisoning, suicide, uprisings, death, and destruction. The Annals also provides a vivid account of the violent suppression of the revolt... more
Recommended by Mary Beard, and 1 others.

Mary BeardThis is the best work of history ever written. (Source)

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In this philosophy classic, first published in 1951, E.R. Dodds takes on the traditional view of Greek culture as a triumph of rationalism. Using the analytical tools of modern anthropology & psychology, he asks, "Why should we attribute to the ancient Greeks an immunity from 'primitive' modes of thought which we do not find in any society open to our direct observation?" Praised by reviewers as "an event in modern Greek scholarship" & "a book which it would be difficult to over-praise," The Greeks and the Irrational was Volume 25 of the Sather Classical Lectures series. less
Recommended by Mary Beard, and 1 others.

Mary BeardThis is one of the books that made me decide that classics was worth spending a lifetime on. (Source)

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The Last Days of Pompeii

The decadence of Roman society and the dramatic destruction of the city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. less
Recommended by Simon Winchester, Mary Beard, and 2 others.

Simon WinchesterIt didn’t teach us much about the science of volcanoes but it taught us the aphorism that man lives on this planet subject to geological consent which can be withdrawn at any time. (Source)

Mary BeardThis book was phenomenally successful in the 19th century. When these books touch a generation there’s a reason for it. (Source)

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'I like this London life . . . the street-sauntering and square-haunting.' Virginia Woolf, diary, 1925

In London during the interwar years, five women's lives intertwined around one address. Mecklenburgh Square, on the radical fringes of Bloomsbury, was home to activists, experimenters and revolutionaries; among them were the modernist poet H. D., detective novelist Dorothy L. Sayers, classicist Jane Harrison, economic historian Eileen Power, and author and publisher Virginia Woolf. In an era when women's freedoms were...
Recommended by Mary Beard, and 1 others.

Mary Beardthis is a great book! (Source)

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Yassmin's Story

Including new chapters.

Frank, fearless, funny, articulate, and inspiring, Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a young Muslim dynamo offering a bracing breath of fresh air—and hope. At 21, Yassmin found herself working on a remote Australian oil and gas rig; she was the only woman and certainly the only Sudanese-Egyptian-Australian background Muslim woman. With her hijab quickly christened a "tea cosy," there could not be a more unlikely place on earth for a young Muslim woman to want to be. This is the story of how she got there, where she is going, and how she wants the world to change.
Recommended by Mary Beard, and 1 others.

Mary Beard@yassmin_a hope to see you soon! BOOK LOOKS GREAT (Source)

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