Dee Finney's blog
start date July 20, 2011
today's date May 6, 2012
TOPIC: 88 BOOKS TO READ - and more
this IS TAKEN FROM A DREAM WHERE A MAN TOLD ME HE HAD READ 88 BOOKS AND THE
BEST ONE WAS WRITTEN BY A SPIRITUALL RUNNER.
5-6-12 - DREAM - I WENT TO VISIT SOME RELATIVES OF MY HUSBAND
IN CALIFORNIA. I DIDN'T FEEL COMFORTABLE THERE, especially when
three women came out dressed in formal gowns, each a different color,
blue, pink, and another color I don't remember. They asked
me if I was going to the dance that night, and I thought, "I don't
belong here." and felt like driving back home even if it was by
myself. That would be a long trip.
Then a man came into the room. He had arrived in a long brown
car. I was told he was a Penobscot Indian. He was a very
tall man and he just stood there in the doorway staring at me.
I said, "I'm from Wisconsin. He said, "Where are you from?"
I said, Milwaukee. It's in the southern part of the State. He
didn't say anything else. I wanted to tell him about the books
I've read, but it didn't seem appropriate, so I didn't say anything
Instead, I decided to go upstairs, and picked up a calendar that
belonged to me. I entered the stairway, which was lighted and
closed the door behind me. At the top of the stairs in the first
room, several men were sitting around on the beds. There were three of
I decided to sit down and just as I did, the sleeping man sat up and
said to me, "I've read 88 books and the best one was written by a
spiritual runner." He promptly laid back down and went to sleep.
NOTE: SINCE I DON'T KNOW WHICH BOOK HE MEANT: HERE IS THE
I thought to myself, "After reading 88 books, how can you sleep, and
then thought again, "maybe he likes to dream."
The man then sat up again and I asked him, "Do you have a list of
those 88 books you read?" He responded, "Yes! so, I asked him if
he could make me a copy of the list and send it to me, and he said "Yes!
" so I was satisfied that I could read those same 88 books" and
just sat there and thought about them and how fascinating they must be.
RESEARCHED 88 BOOKS LISTS
Less than a week ago the Huffington Post published an article called “Spiritual
Classics: 25 Books Every Christian Should Read.” The article was
basically an excerpt from
25 Books Every Christian Should Read: A Guide to the Essential Spiritual
Renovare, “a nonprofit organization that models, resources, and
advocates intentional living through Christian spiritual formation and
discipleship.” The subject matter caught my attention
because this was exactly the kind of book I would have loved once upon a
time, when I identified as a Christian. In fact, looking over the list I
found that I had read a good number of these books already:
The Sayings of the Desert Fathers,
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri,
The Cloud of Unknowing, Revelations of Divine Love, by
Julian of Norwich,
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis,
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan,
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence,
The Way of a Pilgrim (and The Pilgrim Continues His Way), the
Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins,
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (now known
simply as Discipleship, I hear),
The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton, and Mere Christianity
by C.S. Lewis.
I was a fairly serious student of Christian spirituality in those days,
and I have to confess that I miss being so intentionally engaged with a
So that got me wondering. What would a similar list of Unitarian
Univeralist spiritual classics look like? I figure there are a couple of
ways to approach this. One would be to look for books that were written by
Unitarians and Universalists. That would immediately narrow things down
since certain writers would pretty much be automatically put on the list:
Emerson, Thoreau, Channing, Parker, Fuller, etc. A list like that could
certainly keep someone busy for quite awhile. But the more I thought about
it, for such a list to truly represent the breadth and depth of the
spirituality that has influenced Unitarian and Universalist thought, it
might be helpful to include works that weren’t necessarily written by
Unitarians, Universalists, or Unitarian Universalists.
I’m thinking that a well-rounded list of Spiritual Classics: 25 Books
Every Unitarian Universalist Should Read would need to be based on the
Six Sources of our faith. This would serve two purposes: one, the
sources make excellent categories into which one can begin sorting books;
and two, it would keep the list from favoring one flavor of Unitarian
Universalism over another. Finally, in addition to those Six Sources, I
would add one more category. Basically, I’d leave a little room for the
first option: books by Unitarians, Universalists, and Unitarian
Universalists. Of course there’d be some overlap. Walden, for
example, would qualify as both a Six Source book and as a book by a
Unitarian. You get the picture.
Here, then, is the first book I’d like to nominate for a spiritual
classic every Unitarian Universalist should read:
American Sermons: The Pilgrims to Martin Luther King Jr., from the
Library of America. Why? Well, for starters it contains
William Ellery Channing’s sermon “Likeness to God,” which may be the one
sermon of Channing’s that every Unitarian Universalist should read, even
more than “Unitarian Christianity.” (And thanks to the Rev. Kate Rhode for
suggesting this to me). In addition to the Channing sermon, there are
sermons by early America liberal Christians, like
Charles Chauncy, sermons by other Unitarians like
Octavius Brooks Frothingham,
fellow travelers, like
Quaker Lucretia Mott,
and some 20th century sermons by theologians like
Reinhold Niebuhr, and
Martin Luther King Jr.
RAISING YOUR CONSCIIOUSNESS
Kundalini, Evolution and Enlightenment, Edited by John White,
Anchor Books/Doubleday, Garden City, New York. 1979.
Serpent of Fire: A Modern View of Kundalini by Darrel Irving.
Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine. 1995.
Energies of Transformation, A Guide to the Kundalini Process by
Bonnie Greenwell, Ph.D. Shakti River Press, Saratoga, Ca. 1990.
The Doctrine of the Subtle Body in the Western Tradition by GRS
Mead. Solos Press, Shaftesbury, Dorset. No date. First published, 1919.
The Middle Pillar by Israel Regardie. Llewellyn Publications,
St. Paul, MN. 1991.
Kabbalah of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski. Llewellyn
Publications, St. Paul, MN. 1993.
Experience of the Inner Worlds by Gareth Knight. Samuel Weiser,
Inc., York Beach, Maine. 1993.
The Most Holy Trinosophia of the Comte de St. Germain,
Introduction and Commentary by Manly P. Hall. The Philosophical Research
Society, Inc., Los Angeles. 1983.
The Philosophers of Nature, 125 West Front Street, Suite 263,
Wheaton, Ill. 60187
. Kabbalah Lessons:
Alchemy Lessons: .
Psychic Energy, It’s Source and It’s Transformation by M. Esther
Harding, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J. 1963.
The Gathas of Zarathustra from the Zend-Avesta, ed. by Raghavan
Zarathustra, The Transcendental Vision by P.D. Mehta
The Zoroastrian Tradition by Farhang Mehr
Oriental Magic by Idries Shah
 See: Magical States of Consciousness by Dennings and
Philips; Inner Landscapes by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki; or
The Philosophers of Nature, Qabalah Lessons 35 through 44.
 Mysteria Magica, vol. 3 of The Magical Philosophy by
Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips. Llewellyn Pub., St. Paul, MN. P.
57-59, and 69-73; or, The Philosophers of Nature, Qabalah Lesson
 See: Problems on the Path of Return: Pathology in
Kabbalistic and Alchemical Practices by Mark Stavish, M.A. The
Stone -The Journal of The Philosophers of Nature. Issue 19,
March-April 1997. Included as an appendix to this article.
 See: A Kabbalistic Approach to Lucid Dreaming and Astral
Projection by Mark Stavish, M.A. The Stone - The Journal of the
Philosophers of Nature. Issue 20, May-June 1997. Included as an
appendix to this article.
Kabbalah by Gershom Scholem. New York. Mer
 The Jewish Alchemists by Raphael Patai. Princeton,
N.J., University Press.1994.
Saint-Germain is also said to be the author of La magie
sainte revelee a Moyse(The Holy Magic of Moses Revealed). No date
 PON Qabala Lesson 63, suggests that the sounds be
resonated in the heart, solar plexus, and perineum. Regardie make no
attribution of the IAO sounds in The Golden Dawn(5th
ed.), and omits them in The One Year Manual.
 For the Elemental Grade Signs of the Golden Dawn, see: Regardie,
 This will be explored further in an upcoming essay on “The
Diamond Body in Western Esoteric Practices”.
 The Kabbalah of the Golden Dawn by Pat Zalewski.
Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN. 1993. P. 89-125.
 This list of planetary correspondences is taken from The
Philosophers of Nature, Spagyric Course Year Two, Lessons 32 and
 Taken from a painting by Johann Georg Gichtel, a student of
Boehme, of “man in his corrupt state” after the Fall from Grace, prior
to any spiritual initiation.
Kundalini, Evolution, and Enlightenment, ed. by John
White. Anchor Press. Garden City, New York. 1979. Article by James
Morgan Pryse, pgs. 418-440. See: The Apocalypse Unsealed.
 See: Experience of the Inner Worlds by Gareth Knight.
Samuel Weiser, Inc., York Beach, Maine. 1993. Pages 1-119. Or see,
PON Qabala Lessons 12 through 16.
Subject: Academic Treatments of Kaballah
Aaron, David. Endless
Light; The Ancient Path of the Kabbalah
to Love, Spiritual
Growth, and Personal Power. Simon & Schuster
Books; 1997. Hardcover.
[Buy at Amazon:
Ariel, David S. The
Mystic Quest: An Introduction to Jewish
Books; 1992. Paperback. ISBN 0-805210-03-2.
[Buy at Amazon:
Cooper, David A. God Is a
Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of
Riverhead Books; 1997. Hardcover. ISBN
[Buy at Amazon:
Dan, Joseph. Jewish
Mysticism and Jewish Ethics. University of
Washington Press, Seattle
WA. 1986. Jason Aronson; 1996.
[Buy at Amazon:
Feldman, Ron H.
Fundamentals of Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah.
Crossing Pr; July 1999.
Paperback. ISBN 1-580910-49-1.
[Buy at Amazon:
Fine, Lawrence (ed).
Essential Papers on Kabbalah (Essential
Papers on Jewish
Studies). New York Univ Pr; 1995. Paperback.
[Buy at Amazon:
Fisdel, Steven A. The
Practice of Kabbalah: Meditation in
Judaism. Jason Aronson;
1996. Hardcover. ISBN 1-568215-08-8.
[Buy at Amazon:
Idel, Moshe. Kabbalah:
New Perspectives. Yale Univ Pr; 1988,
1990. Paperback. Reprint
edition. ISBN 0-300046-99-5.
[Buy at Amazon:
Communicating the Infinite: The Emergence
of Habad School.
University of Chicago Press; 1990. Hardcover.
[Buy at Amazon:
Matt, Daniel Chanan
(intro); Green, Arthur (preface). Zohar:
The Book of Enlightenment
(Classics of Western Spirituality).
Paulist Press; 1983,
1988. Paperback. ISBN 0-809123-87-8.
[Buy at Amazon:
Matt, Daniel Chanan. The
Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of
Jewish Mysticism. Book
Sales; 1997. Hardcover. ISBN
[Buy at Amazon:
Scholem, Gershom. Jewish
Gnosticism, Merkvah Mysticism and
Talmudic Tradition. Ktav,
New York. 1960. 2nd Ed. Block, New
Scholem, Gershom. Major
trends in Jewish Mysticism. Schocken
Books; 1941, 1995.
Paperback reissue edition. ISBN
[Buy at Amazon:
Scholem, Gershom (ed).
Zohar: The Book of Splendor: Basic
Readings from the
Kabbalah. Schocken Books; 1949, 1995.
edition. ISBN 0-805210-34-2.
[Buy at Amazon:
Scholem, Gershom Gerhard;
Manheim, Ralph (trans). On the
Kabbalah and Its
Symbolism. Schocken Books; 1965, 1996.
[Buy at Amazon:
Scholem, Gershom Gerhard;
Werblowski, R. Zwi (trans). Sabbatai
Sevi. Princeton Univ Pr;
1973, 1976. Paperback. ISBN
[Buy at Amazon:
Kabbalah. New American Library Trade; 1989.
edition. ISBN 0-452010-07-1.
[Buy at Amazon:
Scholem, Gershom; Arkush,
Allan (trans.); Werblowsky, R. J. Zwi
(ed.). Origins of the
Kabbalah. Princeton Univ Pr; 1991.
edition. ISBN 0-691020-47-7.
[Buy at Amazon:
Neugroschel, Joachim (trans.); Chipman,
Jonathan (ed). On the
Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic
Concepts in the Kabbalah.
Schocken Books; 1997. Paperback. ISBN
[Buy at Amazon:
Messianism, Mysticism & Magic: a Sociological
Analysis of Jewish
Religious Movements. Univ of North Carolina
Press. 1982. Out of Print
Wineman, Aryeh (ed).
Mystic Tales from the Zohar. Jewish
1997. Hardcover. ISBN 0-827605-15-3.
[Buy at Amazon:
Native American Booklist
NEA created the following reading list, which includes titles ranging from
such pre-K classics as Mama, Do You Love Me? to books in Tony
Hillerman's Joe Leaphorn series, which have been thrilling young (and older)
adults for decades.
The following titles are listed by grade level and include fiction,
nonfiction, and poetry.
- Baby Rattlesnake by Te Ata. Illustrated by Lynn
Moroney. Children's Press (1991).
- A Boy Called Slow: The True Story of Sitting Bull by
Joseph Bruchac. Putnam (1994)
- Crazy Horse's Vision by Joseph Bruchac. Illustrated by
S.D. Nelson. Lee and Low Books (2000)
- The Boy Who Dreamed of an Acorn by Leigh Casler.
Illustrated by Shonto Begay. Putnam Books (1994).
- Drumbeat?Heartbeat: A Celebration of the Powwow by
Susan Braine. Lerner Publications (1995).
- Earth Daughter: Alicia of Acoma Pueblo by George
Ancona. Macmillan (1995).
- Enduring Wisdom by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneave. Illustrated
by Synthia St. James. Holiday House (2003).
- Full Moon Stories by Eagle Walking Turtle. Hyperion
- The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble. Bradbury
- Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
by Jake Swamp and Erwin Printup. Lee and Low Books (1995).
- The Good Luck Cat by Joy Harjo. Illustrated by Paul
Lee. Harcourt (2000).
- Grandmother's Dreamcatcher by Becky Ray McCain. Albert
Whitman and Company (1998).
- Grandmother's Pigeon by Louise Erdrich. Hyperion Books
- Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Illustrated by
Cornelius Wright. HarperCollins (2000).
- Knots on a Counting Rope by John Archambault.
Illustrated by Ted Rand. Owlet (1997).
- The Legend of the White Buffalo Woman by Paul Goble.
Illustrated by Paul Goble. National Geographic (1998).
- Less Than Half, More Than Whole by Kathleen LaCapa.
Illustrated by Michael LaCapa. Northland Press (1994).
- The Magic Hummingbird translated by Ekkehart Malotki,
narrated by Michael Lomatuway'Ma. Illustrated by Michael Lacapa. Kiva
- Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joose. Illustrated
by Barbara LaVallee. Chronicle Books (1998).
- A Man Called Raven by Richard Van Camp. Illustrated by
George Littlechild. Children's Book Press (1997).
- Many Nations: An Alphabet of Native America by Joseph
Bruchac. Illustrated by Robert F. Goetzi. Northland Publishers (1996).
- My Arctic 1,2,3 by Michael Kusagak. Illustrated by
Vladyana Krykorka. Annick Press (1996).
- Powwow by George Ancona. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
- Return of the Buffaloes by Paul Goble. Illustrated by
Paul Goble. National Geographic (1996).
- Sing Down the Rain by Judi Moreillon. Illustrated by
Michael Chiago. Kiva Publishing (1997).
- Tallchief: America's Prima Ballerina by Maria
Tallchief. Viking Press (1999).
- This Land is Your Land by George Littlechild.
Children's Press (1993).
- What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses?
by Richard Van Camp. Illustrated by George Littlechild. Children's Book
- When the Rain Sings by the National Museum of the
American Indian. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers (1999).
- Arctic Memories by Normee Ekoomiak. Holt (1988).
- Arrow Over the Door by Joseph Bruchac. Dial (1998).
- The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Harper (1999).
- Children of the Sun: Stories by and About Indian Kids
by Beverly Hungry Wolf. William Morrow (1998).
- Did You Hear Wind Sing Your Name? An Oneida Song of Spring
by Sandra DeCoteau. Walker & Company (1995).
- Dancing Teepees: Poems of American Indian Youth by
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneave. Holiday House (1988).
- Four Seasons of Corn: A Winnebago Tradition by Sally M.
Hunter. Lerner (1997).
- Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith. HarperCollins
- Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa by Shonto
Begay. Illustrated by Shonto Begay. Scholastic (1995).
- Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails by Michael Kusugak.
Illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka. Annick Press (1993).
- The Path of the Quiet Elk by Virginia Stroud. Dial
- Pushing Up the Sky by Joseph Bruchac. Dial Books for
Young Readers (2000).
- Rain is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith.
- Soul Would Have No Rainbow If the Eyes Had No Tears and Other
Native American Proverbs by Guy A. Zona. Touchstone Books (1994).
- The Ways of My Grandmothers Beverly Hungry Wolf.
William Morrow (1998).
- Wonderful Sky Boat and Other Native American Tales of the
Southeast by Jane Louise Curry. Illustrated by James Watts.
Margaret McElderry Books (2001).
Grades 9 and Up
- After and Before the Lightening by Simon Ortiz.
University of Arizona Press (1994).
- Bloodlines: Odyssey of a Native Daughter by Janet
Campbell Hale. University of Arizona Press (1993).
- Encyclopedia of American Indian Civil Rights by James
Stuart Olson (editor), Mark Baxter (editor), Darren Pierson (editor), and
Jason M. Tetzloff (editor). Greenwood (1997).
- Food and Spirits by Beth Brant. Oyate (1991).
- Full Moon on the Reservation by Gloria Bird. Greenfield
Review Press (1998).
- A Gathering of Spirit: A Collection of North American Indian
Women edited by Beth Brant. Firebrand Books
- Ghost Dance: New and Selected Poems by Dorise Seale.
- Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King. Bantam
- Here First: Autobiographical Essays by Native American
Writers edited by Arnold Krupet. Modern Library (2001).
- House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday. University of
Arizona Press (1966).
- The Joe Leaphorn Series by Tony Hillerman.
- Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman
Alexie. HarperPerennial (1994).
- Power by Linda Hogan. W.W. Norton and Company (1999).
- Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac. HarperCollins (2001).
- Speaking for the Generations: Native Writers on Writing
by Simon Ortiz. University of Arizona Press (1998).
- The Woman Who Watches the World by Linda Hogan. W.W.
Norton and Company (2001).
GREAT BOOKS OF ALL TIME
Great Books refers to some group of books that tradition, and various
institutions and authorities, have regarded as constituting or best expressing
the foundations of
Western culture (the
Western canon is a similar but broader designation); derivatively the term
also refers to a curriculum or method of education based around a list of such
Mortimer Adler lists three criteria for including a book on the list:
- the book has contemporary significance; that is, it has relevance to the
problems and issues of our times;
- the book is inexhaustible; it can be read again and again with benefit;
"This is an exacting criterion, an ideal that is fully attained by only a
small number of the 511 works that we selected. It is approximated in
varying degrees by the rest."[1
- the book is relevant to a large number of the great ideas and great
issues that have occupied the minds of thinking individuals for the last 25
Any recommended set of great books is expected to change with the times, as
reflected in the following statement by
In the course of history ... new books have been written that have won
their place in the list. Books once thought entitled to belong to it
have been superseded; and this process of change will continue as long
as men can think and write. It is the task of every generation to
reassess the tradition in which it lives, to discard what it cannot use,
and to bring into context with the distant and intermediate past the
most recent contributions to the Great Conversation.
The following is an example list compiled from
How to Read a Book by
Mortimer Adler (1940), and from
How to Read a Book, 2nd ed. by
Mortimer Adler and
Charles Van Doren (1972):
- Homer –
Aeschylus – Tragedies
Sophocles – Tragedies
Euripides – Tragedies
History of the Peloponnesian War
Hippocrates – Medical Writings
Aristophanes – Comedies
- Plato –
Aristotle – Works
Epicurus – "Letter to Herodotus"; "Letter to Menoecus"
Archimedes – Works
Apollonius – Conics
– Works (esp. Orations; On Friendship; On Old Age;
Republic; Laws; Tusculan Disputations; Offices)
On the Nature of Things
– Works (esp. Aeneid)
– Works (esp. Odes and Epodes; The Art of Poetry)
- Livy –
History of Rome
- Ovid –
Works (esp. Metamorphoses)
Quintilian – Institutes of Oratory
Germania; Dialogus de oratoribus (Dialogue on Oratory)
Nicomachus of Gerasa –
Introduction to Arithmetic
Epictetus – Discourses;
– Works (esp. The Way to Write History; The True History;
The Sale of Creeds; Alexander the Oracle Monger; Charon;
The Sale of Lives; The Fisherman; Dialogue of the Gods;
Dialogues of the Sea-Gods; Dialogues of the Dead)
Marcus Aurelius –
- Galen –
On the Natural Faculties
Plotinus – The
St. Augustine – "On the Teacher";
City of God;
On Christian Doctrine
- The Volsungs Saga or
The Song of Roland
The Saga of Burnt Njál
The Guide for the Perplexed
St. Thomas Aquinas – Of Being and Essence; Summa Contra
Gentiles; Of the Governance of Rulers;
Dante Alighieri –
The New Life (La Vita Nuova); "On Monarchy";
Geoffrey Chaucer –
Troilus and Criseyde;
The Canterbury Tales
Thomas a Kempis –
The Imitation of Christ
Leonardo da Vinci – Notebooks
Niccolò Machiavelli –
Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy
Desiderius Erasmus –
The Praise of Folly;
Nicolaus Copernicus –
On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
Thomas More –
Martin Luther –
Table Talk; Three Treatises
François Rabelais –
Gargantua and Pantagruel
John Calvin –
Institutes of the Christian Religion
Michel de Montaigne –
William Gilbert –
Lodestone and Magnetic Bodies
Miguel de Cervantes –
Edmund Spenser –
The Faerie Queene
Francis Bacon –
The Advancement of Learning;
William Shakespeare – Poetry and Plays
Galileo Galilei –
Two New Sciences
Johannes Kepler – The Epitome of Copernican Astronomy;
William Harvey –
On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the
Circulation of the Blood;
Generation of Animals
The Law of War and Peace
Thomas Hobbes –
Leviathan; Elements of Philsophy
René Descartes –
Rules for the Direction of the Mind;
Discourse on the Method;
Meditations on First Philosophy;
Principles of Philosophy;
The Passions of the Soul
Corneille – Tragedies (esp. The Cid, Cinna)
John Milton – Works (esp. the minor poems;
– Comedies (esp.
The School for Wives;
The Doctor in Spite of Himself;
The Tradesman Turned Gentleman;
The Imaginary Invalid;
The Affected Ladies)
Blaise Pascal –
The Provincial Letters;
The Sceptical Chemist
Christiaan Huygens – Treatise on Light
Benedict de Spinoza – Political Treatises;
John Locke –
A Letter Concerning Toleration;
Of Civil Government;
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding;
Some Thoughts Concerning Education
Jean Baptiste Racine – Tragedies (esp. [[|Andromaque|Andromache]];
Isaac Newton –
Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy;
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz –
Discourse on Metaphysics;
New Essays on Human Understanding;
Daniel Defoe –
Jonathan Swift –
The Battle of the Books;
A Tale of a Tub;
A Journal to Stella;
A Modest Proposal
William Congreve –
The Way of the World
George Berkeley – A New Theory of Vision;
A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
Alexander Pope –
An Essay on Criticism;
The Rape of the Lock;
An Essay on Man
Charles de Secondat, baron de Montesquieu –
The Spirit of the Laws
Letters on the English;
Philosophical Dictionary; [[Toleration
Henry Fielding –
Samuel Johnson –
The Vanity of Human Wishes;
Lives of the Poets
David Hume –
A Treatise of Human Nature; Essays Moral and Political;
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding; History of England
Jean-Jacques Rousseau –
Discourse on Inequality; On Political Economy; Emile;
The Social Contract;
Laurence Sterne –
A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy
Adam Smith –
The Theory of Moral Sentiments;
The Wealth of Nations
William Blackstone –
Commentaries on the Laws of England
Immanuel Kant –
Critique of Pure Reason;
Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals;
Critique of Practical Reason;
Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics; The Science of Right;
Critique of Judgment; Perpetual Peace
Edward Gibbon –
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire;
James Boswell – Journal;
The Life of Samuel Johnson
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier –
Traité Élémentaire de Chimie (Elements of Chemistry)
James Madison –
Federalist Papers (together with the
Articles of Confederation;
United States Constitution and
United States Declaration of Independence)
Jeremy Bentham – Comment on the Commentaries; Introduction to
the Principles of Morals and Legislation; Theory of Fictions
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe –
Poetry and Truth
Thomas Robert Malthus –
An Essay on the Principle of Population
John Dalton – A New System of Chemical Philosophy
Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier – Analytical Theory of Heat
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel –
The Phenomenology of Spirit;
Science of Logic;
Elements of the Philosophy of Right;
Lectures on the Philosophy of History
William Wordsworth – Poems (esp.
Lyrical Ballads; Lucy poems; sonnets;
Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Poems (esp.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner );
David Ricardo –
On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation
Jane Austen –
Pride and Prejudice;
Carl von Clausewitz –
The Red and the Black;
The Charterhouse of Parma; On Love
François Guizot – History of Civilization in France
Lord Byron –
Arthur Schopenhauer – Studies in Pessimism
Michael Faraday –
The Chemical History of a Candle; Experimental Researches in
Nikolai Lobachevsky – Geometrical Researches on the Theory of
Charles Lyell –
Principles of Geology
Auguste Comte – The Positive Philosophy
Honoré de Balzac – Works (esp.
Le Père Goriot;
Le Cousin Pons;
Ralph Waldo Emerson –
Nathaniel Hawthorne –
The Scarlet Letter
Alexis de Tocqueville –
Democracy in America
John Stuart Mill –
A System of Logic;
Principles of Political Economy;
Considerations on Representative Government;
The Subjection of Women; Autobiography
Charles Darwin –
On the Origin of Species;
The Descent of Man;
William Makepeace Thackeray – Works (esp.
The History of Henry Esmond;
Charles Dickens – Works (esp.
Our Mutual Friend;
Dombey and Son;
A Tale of Two Cities;
Claude Bernard – Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine
George Boole –
The Laws of Thought
Henry David Thoreau –
Friedrich Engels –
The Communist Manifesto
George Eliot –
Herman Melville –
Fyodor Dostoevsky –
Crime and Punishment;
The Brothers Karamazov
Gustave Flaubert –
Henry Thomas Buckle – A History of Civilization in England
Francis Galton – Inquiries into Human Faculties and Its Development
Bernhard Riemann – The Hypotheses of Geometry
Henrik Ibsen – Plays (esp.
Emperor and Galilean;
A Doll's House;
The Wild Duck;
The Master Builder)
Leo Tolstoy –
War and Peace;
Anna Karenina; "What
Is Art?"; Twenty-Three Tales
Richard Dedekind – Theory of Numbers
Wilhelm Wundt – Physiological Psychology; Outline of
Mark Twain –
The Innocents Abroad;
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn;
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court;
The Mysterious Stranger
Henry Adams – History of the United States; Mont-Saint-Michel
The Education of Henry Adams; Degradation of Democratic Dogma
Charles Peirce –
Chance, Love, and Logic;
William Sumner – Folkways
Oliver Wendell Holmes –
The Common Law; Collected Legal Papers
William James –
Principles of Psychology;
The Varieties of Religious Experience; Pragmatism; A
Essays in Radical Empiricism
Henry James –
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche –
Thus Spoke Zarathustra;
Beyond Good and Evil;
On the Genealogy of Morality;
The Will to Power;
Twilight of the Idols;
Georg Cantor – Transfinite Numbers
Jules Henri Poincaré – Science and Hypothesis; Science and
Method; The Foundations of Science
Sigmund Freud –
The Interpretation of Dreams; Three Essays to the Theory of Sex;
Introduction to Psychoanalysis;
Beyond the Pleasure Principle; Group Psychology and the Analysis
of the Ego;
The Ego and the Id;
Civilization and Its Discontents; New Introductory Lectures on
George Bernard Shaw – Plays and Prefaces
Planck – Origin and Development of the Quantum Theory; Where
Is Science Going?; Scientific Autobiography
Henri Bergson –
Time and Free Will;
Matter and Memory;
Creative Evolution; The Two Sources of Morality and Religion
John Dewey –
Democracy and Education; Experience and Nature; The Quest
for Certainty; Logic – The Theory of Inquiry
Alfred North Whitehead – A Treatise on Universal Algebra; An
Introduction to Mathematics; Science and the Modern World;
Process and Reality; The Aims of Education and Other Essays;
Adventures of Ideas
George Santayana –
The Life of Reason;
Scepticism and Animal Faith;
The Realms of Being (which discusses the Realms of Essence, Matter
and Truth); Persons and Places
Vladimir Lenin – Imperialism;
The State and Revolution
Marcel Proust –
In Search of Lost Time (formerly translated as Remembrance of
Bertrand Russell –
Principles of Mathematics;
The Problems of Philosophy;
Principia Mathematica; The Analysis of Mind; An Inquiry
into Meaning and Truth; Human Knowledge, Its Scope and Limits
Thomas Mann –
The Magic Mountain;
Joseph and His Brothers
Albert Einstein – The Theory of Relativity; Sidelights on
Relativity; The Meaning of Relativity; On the Method of
The Evolution of Physics
James Joyce –
"The Dead" in
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man;
Jacques Maritain – Art and Scholasticism; The Degrees of
Knowledge; Freedom and the Modern World; A Preface to
Metaphysics; The Rights of Man and Natural Law; True Humanism
Franz Kafka –
Arnold J. Toynbee –
A Study of History; Civilization on Trial
Jean-Paul Sartre –
Being and Nothingness
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn –
The First Circle;
The original edition of
How to Read a Book contained a separate "contemporary list" because
"Here one's judgment must be tentative"
All but the following authors were incorporated into the single list of the
Ivan Pavlov – Conditioned Reflexes
Thorstein Veblen –
The Theory of the Leisure Class; The Higher Learning in America;
The Place of Science in Modern Civilization; Vested Interests and
the State of Industrial Arts; Absentee Ownership and Business
Enterprise in Recent Times
Franz Boas –
The Mind of Primitive Man; Anthropology and Modern Life
Leon Trotsky –
The History of the Russian Revolution
In 1954 Dr. Mortimer Adler hosted a live weekly television series in San
Francisco, comprising 52 half-hour programs entitled The Great Ideas. These
programs were produced by the Institute for Philosophical Research and were
carried as a public service by the American Broadcasting Company, presented by
(NET) National Educational Television, the precursor to what is now PBS. Adler
bequeathed these films to the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas, where
they are available for purchase.
In 1993 and 1994, The
Learning Channel created a series of one hour programs discussing many of
the great books of history and their impact on the world. It was narrated by
Donald Sutherland and
Morgan Freeman, amongst others.
Selecting Works for 1990 Edition
Adler, "Second Look", pg 142
Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr (An honest heart, a knowing head; Paris,
August 19, 1785). In: Merril D. Peterson (ed.), Thomas Jefferson Works,
1984. (pp. 814 – 818)
Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr (The homage to Reason; Paris, August 10,
1787). In: Merril D. Peterson (ed.), Thomas Jefferson Works, 1984. (pp.
900 – 906).
Mortimer Adler, "The Great Books, the Great Ideas, and a Lifetime of
Learning," HARVARD'S LOWELL LECTURE – APRIL 11, 1990
John Searle, "The Storm Over the University," The New York Review of
Books, December 6, 1990
Sabrina Walters (2001-07-01).
"Great Books won Adler fame, scorn".
Peter Temes (2001-07-03).
"Death of a Great Reader and Philosopher".
Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from
the original on 2007-11-04.
Great Books – The Foundation of a Liberal Education, New York –
Simon & Schuster, 1954.
How to Read a Book, 1940, p. 375
- O'Hear, Anthony. The Great Books: A Journey through 2,500 Years of
the West's Classic Literature. Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 2
continues on page 214