Rather than rant about what I just saw on the discovery channel, I decided to turn my anger into positive energy. I just finished watching the Discovery Channel's 100 Greatest Americans. The list was constructed by AOL by sufferers of mild to severe stupidity. To give you a little hint the kind of stuff that happened, Barbara Bush beat Alexander Hamilton, Michael Jordan beat Mark Twain, Helen Keller beat Abraham Lincoln, Madonna beat Thomas Jefferson, etc. The one thing I found most disturbing (besides things that would get this thread closed for sure) was the lack of authors. In its extremely short history, American authors have created masterpieces which rival the works France, Germany, and even England. Some great American authors of prose are Herman Melville, Eudora Welty, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, Nathanial Hawthorne, John Steinbeck, etc. Some great American philosophical-prose writers are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, W. E. B. DuBois, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Breecher Stowe, Harriet Jacobs, Thomas Paine, Adam Smith, etc. Some great American poets are Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, E. E. Cummings (sucks in my opinion, sorry), Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Claude McKay, Robert Penn Warren, etc. My favorite American books are Herman Melville's Moby Dick, William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. What are your favorite American literary works? Do you need a recommendation of what to read next by the learned TB community?