Thursday, August 23, 2012

Classical and Periodic Reading List

A friend of mine inquired about a reading list. I compiled this about three years ago, and I am sure one can improve the list; nonetheless, for anyone interested, here it is:

Eclectic and Interdisciplinary Reading List

               The Holy Bible
               The Epic of Gilgamesh
               The Heart of Hebrew History, Hester
               The Sayings of Confucius
               Bhagva Gita
               The Art of War, Sun Tzu
               The Koran
               The Arabs in History, Barnard Lewis
               The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, Lewis

               The Aeneid, Virgil
               The Iliad, Homer
               The Odyssey, Homer
               Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
               Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle
               Physics, Aristotle
               Politics, Aristotle
               Poetics, Aristotle
               Aristotle for Everybody, Adler
               The Republic, Plato
               The Symposium, Plato
               Deruram Natura (“On the Nature of Things”), Lucretius

Middle Ages
               The Cloud of Unknowing
               The Consolation of Philosophy
               The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a’Kempis
               King Arthur, Malory
               The Song of Roland
               Murder in the Cathedral, Eliot

               Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets (read in historical context)
               How to Achieve True Greatness, Castiglione
               The Divine Comedy, Dante
               Don Quixote, Cervantes
               Utopia, More
               The Prince, Machiavelli
               Dr. Faustus, Marlowe

               The Praise of Folly, Erasmus
               Paradise Lost, John Milton
               The Bondage of the Will, Luther
               Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan
               Robinson Crusoe, Defoe
               “A Divine and Supernatural Light,” Edwards
               “Freedom of the Will,” Edwards
               “Of Original Sin,” Edwards
               “A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections,” Edwards
               “Charity and its Fruits,” Edwards

               Candide, Voltaire
               Theodicy, Leibniz
               Of Miracles, David Hume
               An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hume
               Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Hume
               A Treatise of Human Nature, Hume
               An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke
               Two Treatises of Government, Locke
               Emile, Rousseau
               The Social Contract, Rousseau
               De l'esprit des lois ((On) The Spirit of the Laws), Montesquieu
               La défense de «L'Esprit des lois» (In Defence of "The Spirit of the Laws"), Montesquieu
               A Critique of Pure Reason, Kant
               Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone, Kant
               “A Universal History on a Cosmopolitical Plan,” Kant
               “What is Enlightenment,” Kant
               Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon
               The Age of Reason, Paine
               The Declaration of Independence, Jefferson
               “Letter to the Danbury Baptists,” Jefferson
               Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, Jefferson
               The United States Constitution
               “The Bloody Tenet,” Williams
               The Wealth of Nations, Smith
               Democracy in America, de Tocqueville
               “Theodicy,” Leibniz
               “Essay on Man,” Pope

               “Nature,” Emerson
               Walden, Thoreau
               “Civil Disobedience,” Thoreau
               Any work by Byron, Shelly, Keats (especially) or Wordsworth

               “Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse,” Arnold
               “Dover Beach,” Arnold
               “Hebraism and Hellenism,” Arnold
               “Sweetness and Light,” Arnold
               “The Idea of a University,” Newman
               “Liberty,” Mill
               “Utilitarianism,” Mill
               Hard Times, Dickens
               A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens
               The Idylls of the King, Tennyson
               Poetry of Browning, Dickinson, et. al.
               Essays by Carlisle, Arnold, Ruskin, Newman, et. al.
               Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, C. H. Spurgeon
               The Picture of Dorian Grey, Wilde

Literature, 18th century to present
               The Last of the Mohicans, Cooper
               The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne
               Moby Dick, Melville
               Huckleberry Finn, Twain
               The Red Badge of Courage, Crane
               All Quiet on the Western Front,  Remarque
               Heart of Darkness, Conrad
               Dr. Faustus, Mann
               Farewell to Arms, Hemingway
               The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway
               The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald
               A Portrait of the Artist as Young Man, Joyce
               Murder in the Cathedral, Eliot
               The Wasteland, Eliot
               “Metamorphosis,” Kafka
               Thus Spake Zarathustra, Nietzsche
               Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche
               On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, Darwin (Norton Edition)
               Autobiography, Darwin
               Voyage of the Beagle, Darwin
               Ideas and Opinions, Einstein
               The World as I See it, Einstein
               Out of My Life and Thought, Schweitzer
               The Fall, Camus
               The Plague, Camus
               The Stranger, Camus
               Death of a Salesman, Miller
               The Skin of Our Teeth, Wilder
               A Brief History of Time, Hawking
               The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn
               The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis
               The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis
               The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis
               The Closing of the American Mind, Bloom
               Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Physics, Heisenberg
               Philosophical Problems of Quantum Physics, Heisenberg
               Night, Elie Wiesel
For a more detailed list of “great books,” see