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Scattered among the many fine texts that have been written over the past 140 years are the truly great ones-those that have endured for many generations of students, challenged them to solve practical problems, and inspired them to extend the field. In this article, 13 of these texts are described. Nine more will be covered in a future issue of IEEE Spectrum. While only a small subjective sample of the great EE textbooks, these 22 texts were chosen because they illustrate the century-long development of electrical engineering from the 1880s to the 1980s, as well as the transnational character of the technology.