Many books have been written about MIT’s history, education, culture, and impact on the world. Here are some of our favorites:
- A Widening Sphere: Evolving Cultures at MIT by Philip N. Alexander, which describes how MIT’s first nine presidents helped transform the Institute from a small technical school into a major research university
- Becoming MIT: Moments of Decision a volume edited by Professor David Kaiser, which traces the evolution of MIT as seen in a series of crucial decisions over the years
- College Admissions and the Public Interest by former Director of Admissions B. Alden Thresher, which describes the complex web of institutions, values, and controversies in which the college admissions process is embedded
- Countless Connecting Threads: MIT’s History Revealed through Its Most Evocative Objects by Deborah G. Douglas, which features 150 objects that enact MIT’s history, from a towering module for the first real-time digital computer to the famous Baker House Piano Drop
- Designing MIT: Bosworth’s New Tech by Mark M. Jarzombek, which offers an illustrated account of artistic clashes, bureaucratic tangles, and contemporary politics that accompanied the design and building of MIT’s Cambridge campus
- Mens et Mania: The MIT Nobody Knows by Professor Jay Keyser, a memoir of his MIT life, from being Noam Chomsky’s boss to negotiating with student protesters
- Mind and Hand: The Birth of MIT by former President Julius A. Stratton and Loretta H. Mannix, which describes “the flow of ideas” about science and education that shaped the Institute as it emerged
- MIT Campus Planning 1960-2000 by O. Robert Simha, which covers forty years of campus development during Simha’s tenure as chief campus planner
- Nightwork: A History of Hacks and Pranks at MIT by Institute Historian T. F. Peterson, which provides a lively introduction to MIT hacks, from the police car on the Great Dome to the abduction of the Caltech cannon
- Portraits of Resilience by Professor Daniel Jackson, which compiles photographs and stories of people who have coped with and overcome depression, anxiety, trauma, and other challenges
- Retooling: A Historian Confronts Technological Change by Professor Rosalind Williams, which offers a humanistic account of the changing role of technology in society by a former Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education at MIT
- Technology and the Dream: Reflections on the Black Experience at MIT, 1941–1999 by Professor Clarence Williams, which collects transcripts of more than seventy-five oral history interviews in which the interviewees assess their MIT experience and reflect on the role of blacks at MIT and beyond.
We linked these books to their MIT Press descriptions, but if you don’t want to buy them, many are available via your local library and/or WorldCat.