The Modern Library 100 Best Nonfiction was created in 1998 by the Modern Library. The list is what it considers to be the 100 best non-fiction books published since 1900.
The following table shows the top ten books from the editors' list:
|1||1918||The Education of Henry Adams||Henry Brooks Adams|
|2||1902||The Varieties of Religious Experience||William James|
|3||1901||Up From Slavery||Booker T. Washington|
|4||1929||A Room of One's Own||Virginia Woolf|
|5||1962||Silent Spring||Rachel Carson|
|6||1932||Selected Essays, 1917–1932||T.S. Eliot|
|7||1968||The Double Helix||James D. Watson|
|8||1951||Speak, Memory||Vladimir Nabokov|
|9||1919||The American Language||H.L. Mencken|
|10||1936||The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money||John Maynard Keynes|
A list chosen by readers was published separately by Modern Library in 1999. With close to 200,000 votes, The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand was selected as the best non-fiction book. Two other titles related to Rand – Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand and Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life – were No. 3 and No. 6, respectively. The Reader's Poll has been cited by Harry Binswanger, a longtime associate of Rand and promoter of her work, as representative of "the clash between the intellectual establishment and the American people." However, Jesse Walker, writing in Reason magazine, has observed that the Reader's Poll is an example of the unreliability of internet polls and their tendency to overemphasize the opinions of small but especially devoted groups.
- 100 Best Novels, Modern Library
- 100 Best Nonfiction, Modern Library
- 100 Best Nonfiction Books Archived March 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, modernlibrary.com. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- Harry Binswanger (August 27, 1998). "A Tale of Two Novels". Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. Archived from the original on October 23, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- Jesse Walker (May 17, 2007). "What Internet Polls Are Good For". Reason. Retrieved February 23, 2012.