Tuesday, 22 November 2016

23 books which the 6 influential people of the world took inspiration from




There is a very interesting saying “If you want to judge a man’s character just look at the type of books he reads”.

If we apply the methods of reverse engineering here, then we get to know the books read by people of the strongest character possible, the influential people of the world, therefore, this blog post throws light on some of the priceless, invaluable jewels born on this planet whose legend is par excellence.

Shahid Bhagat Singh

Books played a vital role in the life of Bhagat Singh

Almost every Indian is a big fan of Bhagat Singh. There are not enough words in any language which can complete the introduction of Bhagat Singh. 

He is considered as one of the greatest freedom fighter of Indian Independence. The life history of Bhagat Singh is truly an inspiration for youths.


Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev embraced martyrdom at a young age of 23 fighting for their motherland. This sacrifice made by them is truly incomparable. 


Bhagat Singh's contribution in independence is enormous and will be remembered for centuries to come; just a little mention of him is enough to generate a blood rush in our veins and fill our hearts with patriotism.

Besides being an independence revolutionist and a socialist, he was a very well read and learned person. He read books during his school years and the number grew bigger and bigger with time.

Few of his revolutionary co-prisoners apprised that this number went in hundreds when he was in the prison. It is believed that he would carry complete political history in his pockets.

According to the data on the internet, he read a lot of political novels; while reading novels he would put himself in the shoes of the characters and would laugh and weep with them.  

He didn’t let his love for the books go till the day of his execution when he was reading Vladimir Lenin’s ‘State & Revolution’ however, could only finish a few pages.

Below is a mention of 3 books from those he read during his lifetime -

  • Vladimir Lenin’s ‘State & Revolution’
  • Swadhinta ke Pujari
  • Rashtri Sandesh



APJ Abdul Kalam

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam took inspiration from books

Aerospace scientist, Bharat ratna, Missile man, 11th president of India are some of the words which suggest the identity of Late. Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. 

Well, a reality check suggests that these are very less to describe this unprecedented, incredible inspiring person. 

Besides playing major roles in various projects of DRDO and ISRO, he has propounded his ideas and genius to the world in the form of many books, however, he has been described a ‘bookworm’ too and as per the data on the internet he himself took inspiration from many phenomenal books. 

Listed down are the books read by APJ Abdul Kalam -

  • Thirukkural by Thiruvallur
  • Light from many Lamps: A treasury of Inspiration - Lillian
  • Empires of the mind:Lessons to lead and succeed in a knowledge based world
  • Everyday Greatness  by Stephen R Covey
Also, it would be unfair to switch to the next influential leader unless I list down few of the great books by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam -

1. Wings of Fire, 
2. Ignited Minds, 
3. India 2020,
4. Target 3 billion,
5. Indomitable Spirit
6. Thoughts for Change: We can do it
7. The Luminous Sparks




SWAMI VIVEKANAND

Swami Vivekananda read Encyclopedia Britannica

Narendranath datta better known as ‘Swami Vivekananda’ showed the world that through practice, concentration, and continence a human being can read one book per day. This is actually true; Swami Vivekananda was a voracious reader and had the ability to finish a book in a very short amount of time.

Swami Vivekananda was an extraordinary man and spent much of his time reading books.

The words said by Swami Vivekananda in the world's parliament of religion held in Chicago in 1893 exemplify the extraordin
ary charisma and splendid oratory skills he possessed.

Many lessons can be taken from Swami Vivekananda's life. The philosophy of Swami Vivekananda had a divine touch which attracted several followers from different countries and perhaps the number of followers from foreign countries outnumbered the followers of him from India.

A lot of books have been written on Swami Vivekananda's life but what arouses my curiosity is to know which books did he read.

He read around ten volumes of Encyclopaedia Britannica, considered very difficult to finish in one lifetime.

He was also fond of the work of David Hume and it is said, that he was very much fond of Bhagvadgita.

Some of the books which he read include –
  • Bhagavad-Gita,
  • Imitation of Christ
  •  Aristotle.
  • Three essays on Religion – John Stuart Mill
  • Pickwik papers – Charles Dickens


Many of his teachings, his letters and his life's events have been mentioned in the book ' Swami Vivekananda - the living vedanta' by chaturvedi badrinath.


Che Guevara
One of Che guevara favorite books is 'Mein Kempf'

We have seen the face of this iconic figure imprinted on T-shirts worn by the people in India. Such is the heroic charm of this great revolutionary commandant of the guerrilla war fare.

Che Guevara along with Fidel Castro led the Cuban movement and overthrew the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1958.

However, the journey from a medical student to a legendary revolutionary is attributed to the trip of Latin America in his early twenties and the love for books. His love for books is highly evident from the fact that he carried them on his trip which started from Argentina and ended in Venezuela. 

His journal enlisting the experiences of his Latin American trip is known as ‘The Motorcycle diaries’ to the world. 

As a teenager, he would find peace among books. Over a period of time, the choice transformed from fiction novels to books having a lot of social content. He was highly influenced by Karl Marx and believed in leftist ideology.

Following are a few Che Guevara's favorite books –
  • The communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
  •  Mein Kempf
  • Short History of the World by H.G. Wells, and Bertrand Russell's Old and New Sexual Morality
  • The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru


Martin Luther King Jr.

Books played an important role in Martin Luther King Jr's life

Martin Luther King Jr's childhood life is highlighted by the depression he had to go through by the racial incidents happened to his family but who had thought that this man will lead the African American civil rights movement?

Greatly influenced by the work of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. even visited India in 1959 to gain more insights of the non-violent approach followed by Mahatma himself in the freedom struggle. 

Martin Luther king Jr. totally stuck to the non-violence ideology and committed himself to the upliftment of the African Americans of the United States. 

Dr Martin Luther king Jr's role in civil rights movement was of a strong leader who aroused the native African Americans to ask for their rights using non-violence methodology. 

He appealed to them to not react to any aggressive assaults made by the whites to which they followed happily. Such was the power of this influential person. 

He was a man of very dynamic personality.Who knew that the civil rights movement which started from Montgomery bus boycott would arouse masses in America. 

Dr Martin Luther King Jr was jailed and beaten several times for the fire he started in the hearts of the people but since he was a very strong person at heart he never backed down.

He was an avid reader and is considered as one of the best public orators of the world.

Here are a few books read by Dr Martin Luther King Jr –
  • Civil disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
  • The Bible
  • Republic by Plato
  • Politics by Aristotle



Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years and read Shakespeare

The story of Nelson Mandela's life exemplifies the highest mental strength and patience one can ever have on this planet.

Nelson Mandela's long way to freedom of the world from apartheid is characterized by several ups and downs. Only a true leader could survive such a tough path and this makes him an influential leader of the world.

For his struggle against apartheid, he was put into the prison in Robben Islands for 27 years. Nelson Mandela's long way to freedom is marked by several struggles 

He is one of the only two non-Indians to receive Bharat Ratna.

Madiba, as a leader of the anti-apartheid movement was inspired by books to reinforce his thoughts in his long struggle against racism.

He spent most of the time reading ‘The complete works of Shakespeare’ in the prison. 

As per a report from CNN, this book was smuggled in the prison hidden within Diwali gift cards depicting Goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that this book gave him strength to survive in the prison and evolve as leader.


Below are a few books from his collection -
  • "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu
  • "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare" by William Shakespeare
  • "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy



To conclude I must say that these leaders through their work have set an example for all of us.

Their work have changed the course of history and inspired millions to believe in heavy words such as strong will, patience, enthusiasm and determination and yes, you can’t deny the role of books in their life.   

Speaking of books, do visit used book store of www.bx-zone.com on which you can sell used books online to people around you.

1 comment:

  1. Great collection of different books and also motivation Source

    ReplyDelete