Dive into the literary world of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist & Cosmologist.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a celebrated astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator, best known for his ability to engage and educate the public about the wonders of the universe. Born in 1958 in New York City, Tyson became interested in astronomy as a young child and has dedicated his career to expanding public understanding of science. He is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. Tyson is particularly well-known for his television series "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," a follow-up to Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" series, which adeptly simplifies complex scientific concepts for general audiences.

For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you.❞ — Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tyson's enthusiasm for science is paralleled by his love for reading, particularly science fiction, which he credits with expanding his imagination and understanding of scientific possibilities from a young age. His books, including popular titles like "Death by Black Hole" and "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry," showcase his knack for making science accessible and entertaining. Tyson often discusses the importance of reading not only for gaining knowledge but also for nurturing curiosity and critical thinking skills—traits essential for scientific inquiry and innovation.

Neil deGrasse Tyson's Favorite Books

Last Updated: June 2024

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel captures the glamour and disillusionment of the Roaring Twenties through the tragic story of Jay Gatsby's obsession with a lost love.
Also recommended by:
Barack Obama  Leonardo DiCaprio 

Age of Reason

Paine's influential work critiques organized religion and promotes deism, arguing for a rational approach to spirituality based on reason and the observation of the natural world.

The Principia

Newton's groundbreaking work lays out the three laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation, which have formed the foundation for classical mechanics and drastically changed our understanding of the universe.
Also recommended by:
Sam Altman 

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

Dawkins recounts his early life and the experiences that shaped his career as an evolutionary biologist, providing a personal look into the development of his scientific thinking.

Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World

Nye advocates for the importance of science in addressing global challenges, particularly climate change, and offers actionable solutions for creating a sustainable future.

The Age of American Unreason

Susan Jacoby critiques the decline of intellectual and rational thought in American society, linking historical trends with contemporary issues in culture and politics that celebrate ignorance over knowledge.
Also recommended by:
David Bowie 

The Wealth of Nations

Smith's foundational work in classical economics examines the nature and causes of national wealth, advocating for free markets, division of labor, and limited government intervention.
Also recommended by:
Winston Churchill 

The Art Of War: Complete Text of Sun Tzu

This ancient Chinese military treatise offers strategic insights and tactics for warfare, emphasizing the importance of adaptability, planning, and psychological warfare.
Also recommended by:
Tupac Shakur  Lex Fridman  Adam Savage 

The Almagest: Introduction to the Mathematics of the Heavens

Ptolemy's seminal work in astronomy presents the geocentric model of the universe and provides detailed mathematical descriptions of the movements of celestial bodies.

The Bible

The Bible is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred in Christianity, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, which narrate the history of the Earth from its creation to the spread of Christianity in the first century A.D.

The Prince

Niccolò Machiavelli's seminal work on political theory and the qualities of great leaders, advocating pragmatic and often controversial methods for ruling effectively and maintaining power in a turbulent political landscape.
Also recommended by:
Martin Luther King, Jr.  Tupac Shakur 

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

Julian Jaynes presents a controversial theory that human consciousness arose as a recent development in history, linked to the breakdown of a previous mind-state where decisions were made through auditory hallucinations believed to be the voices of gods.
Also recommended by:
David Bowie  Sam Altman 
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