I was discussing Alan Greenspan with a friend and she was unaware of his connection with Ayn Rand. In fact, she wasn't aware of objectivism and hadn't read any of Rand's work. It stunned me, since she's smart and well-read. So it got me thinking ... what's the one book and one album people *have* to have read and heard to be culturally aware?
For me, the book is "The Great Gatsby" by Fitzgerald for it's style, theme and it's comment on American society that still holds true. The album would be "Pet Sounds" by the Beach Boys. Without it, the Beatles wouldn't have done Sgt Pepper and groups as varied as Van Halen wouldn't have the same sound.