Presenting major points of view on nearly three thousand intellectual questions that have been discussed for thousands of years, a distinguished scholar includes an introduction explaining why twentieth-century accomplishments are best viewed through the context of history.
Today the classics of the western canon, written by the proverbial ''dead white men,'' are cannon fodder in the culture wars. But in the 1950s and 1960s, they were a pop culture phenomenon. The Great Books of Western Civilization, fifty-four volumes chosen by intellectuals at the University of Chicago, began as an educational movement, and evolved into a successful marketing idea. Why did a million American households buy books by Hippocrates and Nicomachus from door-to-door salesmen? And how and why did the great books fall out of fashion? In A Great Idea at the Time Alex Beam explores the Great Books mania, in an entertaining and strangely poignant portrait of American popular culture on the threshold of the television age. Populated with memorable characters, A Great Idea at the Time will leave readers asking themselves: Have I read Lucretius's De Rerum Natura lately? If not, why not?
A Father, His Daughter and the Great Books of the Western World
Author: Matt Burriesci
Publisher: Cleis Press
Category: Literary Criticism
After his daughter was born prematurely in 2010, Burriesci set out to write a book for her 18th birthday. In short, honest, and simple letters, Burriesci teaches his daughter about 32 great books, from Plato to Karl Marx, and how their lessons have applied to his life. As someone who has spent a long and successful career advocating for great literature, Burriesci defends the titles in this series of tender and candid letters, rich in personal experience and full of humor. Dead White Guys is also a timely defense of the great books, arriving in the middle of a national debate about the fate of these books in high schools and universities around the country. Burriesci shows how the great books can enrich our lives as individuals, as citizens, and in our careers.
From the Great Books of Western Civilization(Volume 2 Of 2 )
Author: Mortimer J. Adler
Time magazine called Mortimer J. Adler a "philosopher for everyman." In this guide to considering the big questions, Adler addresses the topics all men and women ponder in the course of life, such as "What is love?," "How do we decide the right thing to do?," and, "What does it mean to be good?" Drawing on his extensive knowledge of Western literature, history, and philosophy, the author considers what is meant by democracy, law, emotion, language, truth, and other abstract concepts in light of more than two millennia of Western civilization and discourse. Adler's essays offer a remarkable and contemplative distillation of the Great Ideas of Western Thought.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, inc,University of Chicago
THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER At the age of forty-eight, writer and film critic David Denby returned to Columbia University and re-enrolled in two core courses in Western civilization to confront the literary and philosophical masterpieces -- the "great books" -- that are now at the heart of the culture wars. In Great Books, he leads us on a glorious tour, a rediscovery and celebration of such authors as Homer and Boccaccio, Locke and Nietzsche. Conrad and Woolf. The resulting personal odyssey is an engaging blend of self-discovery, cultural commentary, reporting, criticism, and autobiography -- an inspiration for anyone in love with the written word.
This enlightening study is the result of group discussions at Dr. Adler's annual seminar in Aspen, Colorado, and conversations between Dr. Adler and Bill moyers filmed for public television. Each summer, Mortimer J. Adler conducts a seminar at the Aspen Institute in Colorado. At the 1981 seminar, leaders from the worlds of business, literature, education, and the arts joined him in an in-depth consideration of the six great ideas that are the subject of this book: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty - the ideas we judge by; and Liberty, Equality and Justice - the ideas we act on. The group discussions and conversations between Dr. Adler and journalist Bill Moyers were filmed for broadcast on public television, and thousands of people followed their exploration of these important ideas. Discarding the out-worn and off-putting jargon of academia, Dr. Adler dispels the myth that philosophy is the exclusive province of the specialist. He argues that "philosophy is everybody's business," and that a better understanding of these fundamental concepts is essential if we are to cope with the political, moral, and social issues that confront us daily.
Practical information for learning how to speak and listen more effectively. Drawing on decades of experience as educator and philosopher, Mortimer J. Adler gives the listener a short course in effective communication filled with the Adler wisdom and wit. Both instructive and practical, How to Speak, How to Listen will be invaluable to everyone: salespeople and executives involved in conferences and negotiations, politicians, lecturers, and teachers, as well as families seeking to improve communication among themselves.