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*** - A lifetime of reading Philip Ward The lifetime reading plan online editions of Great Books The great books of the western world Adler 100 most influential books Seymour-smith a list of contemporary political books - Harold blooms western canon ---240 authors


HOMER: Iliad, Odyssey

AESCHYLUS: Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides, Prometheus Bound

SOPHOCLES: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, Philoctetes

THUCYDIDES: Peloponnesian War

EURIPIDES: Hippolytus, Bacchae

HERODOTUS: Histories


PLATO: Meno, Gorgias, Republic, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Symposium, Parmenides, Theatetus, Sophist, Timaeus, Phaedrus

ARISTOTLE: Poetics, Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, On Generation and Corruption, Politics, Parts of Animals, Generation of Animals

EUCLID: Elements

LUCRETIUS: On the Nature of Things

PLUTARCH: "Lycurgus", "Solon"

NICOMACHUS: Arithmetic

LAVOISIER: Elements of Chemistry

HARVEY: Motion of the Heart and Blood

Essays by: Archimedes, Fahrenheit, Avogadro, Dalton, Cannizzaro, Virchow, Mariotte, Driesch, Gay-Lussac, Spemann, Stears, J.J. Thompson, Mendeleyev, Berthollet, J.L. Proust



ARISTOTLE: De Anima, On Interpretation, Prior Analytics, Categories


VIRGIL: Aeneid

PLUTARCH: "Caesar", "Cato the Younger"

EPICTETUS: Discourses, Manual


PTOLEMY: Almagest

PLOTINUS: The Enneads

AUGUSTINE: Confessions

ST. ANSELM: Proslogium

AQUINAS: Summa Theologica, Summa Contra Gentiles

DANTE: Divine Comedy

CHAUCER: Canterbury Tales


MACHIAVELLI: The Prince, Discourses

COPERNICUS: On the Revolutions of the Spheres

LUTHER: The Freedom of a Christian

RABELAIS: Gargantua and Pantagruel

PALESTRINA: Missa Papae Marcelli


VIETE: "Introduction to the Analytical Art"

BACON: Novum Organum

SHAKESPEARE: Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, The Tempest, As You Like It, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, Coriolanus, Sonnets

POEMS BY: Marvell, Donne, and other 16th- and 17th-century poets

DESCARTES: Geometry, Discourse on Method

PASCAL: Generation of Conic Sections

BACH: St. Matthew Passion, Inventions

HAYDN: Quartets

MOZART: Operas



STRAVINSKY: Symphony of Psalms


CERVANTES: Don Quixote

GALILEO: Two New Sciences

HOBBES: Leviathan

DESCARTES: Meditations, Rules for the Direction of the Mind

MILTON: Paradise Lost



PASCAL: Pensees

HUYGENS: Treatise on Light, On the Movement of Bodies by Impact

ELIOT: Middlemarch

SPINOZA: Theological-Political Treatise

LOCKE: Second Treatise of Government

RACINE: Phaedre

NEWTON: Principia Mathematica

KEPLER: Epitome IV

LEIBNIZ: Monadology, Discourse on Metaphysics, Essay On Dynamics, Philosophical Essays, Principles of Nature and Grace

SWIFT: Gulliver's Travels

HUME: Treatise of Human Nature

ROUSSEAU: Social Contract, The Origin of Inequality

MOLIERE: The Misanthrope

ADAM SMITH: Wealth of Nations

KANT: Critique of Pure Reason, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals

MOZART: Don Giovanni

JANE AUSTEN: Pride and Prejudice

DEDEKIND: Essay on the Theory of Numbers

ESSAYS by: Young, Maxwell, Taylor, Euler, D. Bernoulli







DARWIN: Origin of Species

HEGEL: Phenomenology of Mind, "Logic" (from the Encyclopedia)

LOBACHEVSKY: Theory of Parallels

TOCQUEVILLE: Democracy in America

LINCOLN: Selected Speeches

KIERKEGAARD: Philosophical Fragments, Fear and Trembling

WAGNER: Tristan and Isolde

MARX: Capital, Political and Economic Manuscripts of 1844, The German Ideology

DOSTOEVSKI: Brothers Karamazov

TOLSTOY: War and Peace

MELVILLE: Benito Cereno

TWAIN: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

O'CONNOR: Selected Stories

WILLIAM JAMES: Psychology, Briefer Course

NIETZSCHE: Birth of Tragedy, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil

FREUD: General Introduction to Psychoanalysis


WASHINGTON, BOOKER T.: Selected Writings

DUBOIS: The Souls of Black Folk

HEIDEGGER: What is Philosophy?

HEISENBERG: The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory

EINSTEIN: Selected Papers

MILLIKAN: The Electron

CONRAD: Heart of Darkness


POEMS by: Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Baudelaire, Rimbaud

ESSAYS by: Faraday, J.J. Thomson, Mendel, Minkowski, Rutherford, Davisson, Schrodinger, Bohr, Maxwell, de Broigle, Dreisch, Orsted, Ampere, Boveri, Sutton, Morgan, Beadle & Tatum, Sussman, Watson & Crick, Jacob & Monod, Hardy

Ninth grade, BC 5000-400 AD

The Bible: Genesis, Job

Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 2500 BC)

The Iliad and The Odyssey, Homer (c. 850 BC)

A Day in Old Athens by William S. Davis

History of the Persian Wars by Herodotus (485-424 BC)

The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides

(Livingston abridged edition) (460-395 BC)

Sophocles, Oedipus Rex (c. 440 BC)

Medea, Euripides (c. 431 BC)

The Frogs, Aristophanes (405 BC)

Republic, Symposium, Plato (c. 387 BC)

On Poetics, Ethics, Aristotle (384-322 BC)

A Day in Old Rome by William S. Davis

The Bible: The Book of Daniel (c. 165 BC)

On the Nature of Things, Lucretius (c. 60 BC)

De republic, Cicero (54 BC)

The Aeneid by Virgil (c. 30 BC)

Metamorphoses by Ovid (c. 5)

The Bible: Paul, 1 & 2 Letters to the Corinthians (c. 58 AD)

The Wars of the Jews by Josephus (c. 68)

The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Roman, Plutarch (c.100)

The Annals of Tacitus (c. 117)

On the Incarnation by Athanasius (c. 300)

Tenth grade, 400-1600

Augustine, Confessions and City of God, Book 8 (c. 411)

The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius (524)

The Koran (selections) (c. 650)

Beowulf (c. 1000)

The Mabinogion (c. 1050)

1066: The Year of Conquest, Howartz Dand

Cur Deus Homo by Anselm (c. 1090)

Life in a Medieval Barony, William Stearns Davis

The Magna Carta, James Daugherty

Aquinas: Selected Writings (ed. Robert Goodwin) (c. 1273)

Novum Organon, Roger Bacon (1270s)

The Inferno, Dante (1320)

Gawain and the Green Knight (c. 1400)

Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (selections)(c. 1400)

Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur (selections)(c. 1470)

Education of a Christian Prince (selections)(1510)

The Prince by Machiavelli (1513)

Utopia by Thomas More (1516)

Commentary on Galatians, Martin Luther (c. 1520)

Institutes of the Christian Religion, Calvin (selections) (1536)

Aztecs and Spaniards, Albert Marrin

Empires Lost and Won: The Spanish Heritage in the Southwest, Albert Marrin

Faustus, Marlowe (1588)

The Faerie Queene, Spenser (1590)

Julius Caesar (1599), Hamlet (1600), or other plays, Shakespeare

Life in Elizabethan Days, William Stearns Davis

Eleventh grade, 1600-1850

Cervantes, Don Quixote (abridged)(1605)

Divine Meditations, John Donne (c. 1635)

Principles of philosophy, Rene Descartes (1644)

Paradise Lost (selections), Milton (1664)

Pensees, Pascal (1670)

Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (1678)

"An Essay Concerning Human Understanding," John Locke (1690)

Gulliver's Travels, Swift (1726)

"On American Taxation," Burke (1774)

The War for Independence, Albert Marrin

"The Social Contract," Rousseau (1762)

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1771)

The Declaration of Independence (1776)

"Critique of Pure Reason," Kant (1781)

The Federalist Papers, Hamilton

The Constitution of the United States (ratified 1788)

Songs of Innocence and Experience, Blake (1789)

"The Rights of Man," Paine (1792)

Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth and Coleridge (1798)

Pride and Prejudice, Austen (1813)

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (1818)

"Ode to a Nightingale" and other poems of Keats (1820s)

The Last of the Mohicans, Cooper (1826)

"The Lady of Shalott" and other poems of Tennyson (1832)

"The Fall of the House of Usher" and other stories of Poe (1839)

"Self-Reliance," Emerson (1844)

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (1847)

Moby Dick, Melville (1851)

Twelfth grade, 1850-present day

Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engles (1848)

de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1805-1860)

Uncle Tom's Cabin, Stowe (1852)

Walden, Thoreau (1854)

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman (1855)

Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky (1856)

On the Origin of Species, Darwin (1859)

Great Expectations, Dickens (1861)

Unconditional Surrender: U.S. Grant and the Civil War,

Albert Marrin

Virginia's General: Robert E. Lee, Albert Marrin

"Gettysburg Address," Lincoln (1863)

Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, Sandburg (Pulitzer

biography, 1940)

War and Peace, Tolstoy (1864)

The Return of the Native, Hardy (1878)

Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche (1883)

Huckleberry Finn, Twain (1884)

Selected Poems, W. B. Yeats (1895)

The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud (1900)

"The Innocence of Father Brown," Chesterton (1911)

Selected Poems, Wilfrid Owen (1918)

"A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes," Frost (Pulitzer, 1924)

"The Trial," Kafka (1925)

"Murder in the Cathedral," T. S. Eliot (1935)

"Our Town," Thornton Wilder (1938)

The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck (1939)

Mein Kampf, Hitler (1939)

Animal Farm, Orwell (1945)

The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank (1947)

Invisible Man, Ellison (1952)

Mere Christianity, Lewis (1952)

"The Crucible," Miller (1953)

"A Man for All Seasons, Bolt (1962)

"Why We Can't Wait," Martin Luther King Jr. (1964)

"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," Stoppard (1967)

"The Gulag Archipelago," Solezhenitsyn (1974)

Night, Elie Wiesel (1982)


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