’s Inflection Announces the Decade’s Most Influential Books in Physics, Geoscience, History, and Political Science

FORT WORTH, Texas, June 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — For centuries, books have been our most important medium for the expression of revolutionary ideas. The people who read these books use the revelations within to drive civilization forward. In this way, humanity’s thirst for knowledge and understanding have made some books not only must-reads but the very foundation upon which rests everything we know today.

Inflection, the opinion, editorial, and news analysis journal of selects the physics, geoscience, history, and political science books that matter most. Whether released 300 years ago or in just the last decade, these books continue to have a profound impact on their respective fields of study, from 2010 to today:

"At, we’ve pioneered a method for a more objective analysis of a book’s impact," says Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of and professor of physics at Wake Forest University. "These are the books thought leaders consult and authors use as the basis for their own research and writings."

The Inflection team measured the influence of leading books and writings cited in comprehensive online data repositories. Through machine learning analysis, each book was then assigned an objective measure of influence within its subfield based on the number of references it has received in both the academic literature and the popular media. The outcome is a more unbiased, manipulation-resistant, and usable ranking.

A sampling of top titles selected:

  • The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics, Leonard Susskind and George Hrabovsky, 2013
  • A New Kind of Science, Stephen Wolfram, 2002
  • Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality, Max Tegmark, 2014
  • Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Climate Change, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, 2010
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne, 1864
  • Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, Stephen Jay Gould, 1989
  • Records of the Grand Historian (Qin Dynasty, Han Dynasty I, Han Dynasty II), Sima Tan and Sima Qian, c. 135 BCE
  • The Life of Flavius Josephus, Titus Flavius Josephus, c. 99 CE
  • The Secret History of the Mongols: The Origin of Chinghis Khan, Anonymous, After 1227 CE
  • The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump, Corey Robin, 2011
  • Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835
  • Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, 1957

Visit the links above to view all 100 titles and their final ranking order.

"These books transcend mere influence. Without them, the fields of knowledge they cover wouldn’t exist as we know them," says Macosko. "Anyone who wants to build a foundational understanding of physics, history, earth sciences, or political science would do well to start with the 25 books we’ve selected for each of these disciplines."

For additional resources in the fields of physics, geoscience, history, political science, and much more, consult the growing collection of conversations with today’s top thinkers at Academic Influence Interviews. is the preeminent technology-driven rankings site dedicated to students, researchers, and inquirers from high school through college and beyond, offering resources that connect learners to leaders. (Visit the About page for further details on the capabilities and advantages of this unique ranking technology and on the people who make it possible.) is a part of the EducationAccess group, a family of sites dedicated to lifelong learning and personal growth.


Jed Macosko, Ph.D.
Academic Director

(682) 302-4945


Related Links