You Gotta Know


You Gotta Know These Non-Fiction Works

The following table lists the 50 most-frequently referenced works of non-fiction in NAQT questions as of November 1, 2007. While you really gotta know their creators, these are also some of the works about which more substantive questions are written, so teams should be prepared for questions on their key ideas, cultural context, and circumstances of creation.

This is an update of an earlier You Gotta Know article.

RankTitleGenreCreatorDateFreq.
1BibleReligiousdivinely inspired, many authorsvaries751
2U.S. ConstitutionDocumentJames Madison (chiefly)1787465
3Qur'anReligiousMohammed (transcriber)
Uthman (codifier)
660178
4Book of GenesisReligiousMoses950-500 BC147
5The Gospel According to MatthewReligiousSaint Matthew1st century137
6The Declaration of IndependenceDocumentThomas Jefferson1776122
7Federalist PapersPoliticsAlexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison178794
8Book of ExodusReligiousMoses (attributed)c. 900 - 500 BC94
9Book of RevelationReligiousJohn of Patmosc. 9591
10Book of PsalmsReligiousDavid (traditionally)various86
11LeviathanPoliticsThomas Hobbes165181
12The RepublicPoliticsPlato4th cent. BC73
13Magna CartaDocumentKing John (signer) 121571
14The ElementsMathEuclidc. 300 BC69
15The PrincePoliticsNiccoló Machiavelli151368
16The Gospel According to JohnReligiousSt. John the Apostlec. 10068
17The Social ContractPoliticsJean-Jacques Rousseau176266
18Book of NumbersReligiousMoses (traditionally)6th century BC65
19Ninety-Five ThesesReligiousMartin Luther151764
20VedasReligiousdivinely inspired, author unknown1500 to 1000 BC59
21The Wealth of NationsEconomicsAdam Smith177658
22Acts of the ApostlesReligiousLuke (traditionally)AD 70-9057
23J'accuseOpen LetterÉmile(-Édouard-Charles-Antoine) Zola189857
24PragmatismPhilosophyWilliam James190755
25Principia MathematicaPhysicsIsaac Newton166754
26Bill of RightsDocumentJames Madison178954
27Book of MormonReligiousJoseph Smith (Jr.) (traditional translator)183054
28Book of EcclesiastesReligiousSolomon (traditionally)3rd century BC53
29TorahReligiousMoses (traditionally)6th century BC52
30TalmudReligiousdivinely inspired, author unknownc. 300 to 60051
31UtilitarianismPhilosophyJohn Stuart Mill186351
32Common SensePoliticsThomas Paine177651
33Coming of Age in SamoaAnthropologyMargaret Mead192850
34The Communist ManifestoPoliticsKarl Marx and Friedrich Engels184849
35Rig VedaReligiousdivinely inspired, author unknownc. 1500 BC49
36Critique of Pure ReasonPhilosophyImmanuel Kant178147
37Cross of Gold speechSpeechWilliam Jennings Bryan189647
38MeditationsPhilosophyMarcus Aureliusc. 161-18045
39On The Origin of SpeciesBiologyCharles Darwin185945
40WaldenPhilosophyHenry David Thoreau185445
41DeuteronomyReligiousMoses (traditionally)950-500 BC44
42Book of JeremiahReligiousJeremiahc. 600 BC44
43An Essay Concerning Human UnderstandingPhilosophyJohn Locke169044
44The Book of JudgesReligiousSamuel (traditionally)c. 550 BC44
45On LibertyPoliticsJohn Stuart Mill185943
46King James BibleReligious54 scholars on 6 committees161143
47Book of LeviticusReligiousMoses (traditionally)7th century BC41
48MishnaReligiousdivinely inspired, author unknown3rd century40
49The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of CapitalismSociologyMax Weber190440
50Sinners in the Hands of an Angry GodReligiousJonathan Edwards174139

NAQT has complete lists of the works of literature, non-fiction, art, and music that have been mentioned in its questions, sorted by frequency, available for purchase by coaches or teams for use as study guides.

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