Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Survivalist's Library from 1964

What books should be on a Survivalist's bookshelf? That is a question prompted by a book I'm currently reading (Robert Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold). Its a science fiction survivalist novel about a family that survives a nuclear war. In it, the man (Hugh Farnham) who built and stocked a bomb shelter lists his "must-have" survivalist library (as far as my "review" of Heinlein's book goes, its okay, but not on my list of highly recommended reads).

Heinlein's book was published in 1964, so all the books mentioned are from before that, naturally. I'll do my list of a Prepper's Library for modern times sometime, but for now here is the list of the books in the bomb shelter's library:

At one point in the book, Hugh Farnham mentions regretting not including the works of Mark Twain in his library.

The list is a mixture of practical books (various volumes on homesteading, medicine, engineering, etc), books for entertainment value (note the inclusion of Hoyle's Book of Games for one), general knowledge (a dictionary and an encyclopedia), and several selections obviously influenced by the Cold War (the books on guerrilla warfare, and the Russian/English dictionaries). Hugh even attempted to save some classic works (Homer, Shakespeare, etc.)