Classics Read in 2011

Twitter: @GreatBooksDude

Website: (specializing in online Great Books Programs!)

This page will be updated frequently as I attempt to reconstruct when I read things; for some of them I have firm dates, as for the ones I read during certain semesters or the ones I read when I was on trips, or for that matter the ones I bought at Borders’ closing sale.  Some of these had MAJOR impact on my thinking; while other years were also fruitful, it was in this one that I believe I made my biggest leaps intellectually.  Again I remained mostly unemployed, hard work and intelligence not being considered a prerequisite for the modern economy.

Herodotus–The Histories

Thucydides–History of the Peloponnesian War

Xenophon–The Persian Expedition

Plato–Charmides, Lysis, Laches, Protagoras, Euthydemus, Cratylus, Phaedrus, Ion, Symposium, Phaedo, Gorgias, Republic, Parmenides, Thaetetus, Philebus, Laws, “The
Seventh Letter”



Archimedes–Measurement of a Circle

Livy–History of Rome, Books I-X


Tacitus–Agricola, A Dialogue on Oratory, Germania

Quintus of Smyrna–The Fall of Troy

Boethius–The Consolation of Philosophy


The Song of Roland

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Machiavelli–Discourses on Livy, The Art of War

Sir Thomas More–Utopia

Torquato Tasso–Jerusalem Delivered

Montesquieu–The Persian Letters

Mary K. Rowlandson–A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mary K. Rowlandson

Macaulay–Essays on Pitt, Clive, Hastings

Franklin, Benjamin–The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Mary Shelley–Frankenstein

Douglass, Frederick–Narrative of the Life and Times of Frederick Douglass

Melville–Moby Dick

Hawthorne–The Scarlet Letter, “Young Goodman Brown”

Lord Acton–Essays in the History of Liberty

Bierce, Ambrose-“The Coup de Grace,” “A Horseman in the Sky,” “An Occurrence at Owl-Creek Bridge,” “Chicamauga,” “Editorial Truths,” “The Pavior,” “Fortune and the Fabulist,” “On Putting One’s Head into One’s Belly,” “A Dilemma,” “The Ox and the Ass,” “The Critics,” “The Humorist,” “The Powerless Poet,” “Mark Twain Marries,” “Mark Twain Retires,” “Mark Twain Prospers,” “Mark Twain Holds Forth,” “Bret Harte: The Professor,” “Bret Harte: The Editor,” “The Eastern Literary Conspiracy,” “The Ineffable Oscar Wilde,” “To Oscar Wilde,” “With a Book,” “In Warning”

Robert Louis Stevenson–Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Nietzsche–Thus Spoke Zarathustra, The Birth of Tragedy

Stephen Crane–“The Open Boat”

Dostoevsky–Crime and Punishment

Ibsen–A Doll’s House

Brooks Adams–The Theory of Social Revolutions

Shaw–Saint Joan

Lenin–The State and Revolution


Veblen–The Higher Learning in America, The Engineers and the Price System

John Dewey–Democracy and Education, selections from How We Think

Winston Churchill–The Birth of Britain, The New World, The Age of Revolution, The Great Democracies

From the Gateway to the Great Books set (,

Moliere, The Misanthrope, The Doctor in Spite of Himself

Richard Sheridan, The School for Scandal

Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People

Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard

George Bernard Shaw, The Man of Destiny

John Synge, Riders to the Sea

Eugene O’Neill, The Emperor Jones

Virginia Woolf, “How Should One Read a Book?”

Matthew Arnold, “The Study of Poetry”, “Sweetness and Light”

Charles Augustin Sainte-Beauve, “Montaigne”, “What is a Classic?”

Francis Bacon, “Of Beauty”, “Of Discourse”, “Of Studies”, “Of Youth and Age”, “Of Parents and Children”, “Of Marriage and Single Life”, “Of Great Place”, “Of Seditions and Troubles”, “Of Custom and Education”, “Of Followers and Friends”, “Of Usury”, “Of Riches”

Arthur Schopenhauer, “On Style”, “On Some Forms of Literature”, “On the Comparative Place of Interest and Beauty in Works of Art”, “On Education”

Friedrich Schiller, “On Simple and Sentimental Poetry”

Percy Shelley, “A Defence of Poetry”

Walt Whitman, Preface to Leaves of Grass

William Hazlitt, “My First Acquaintance with Poets”, “On Swift”, “Of Persons One Would Wish to Have Seen”

Charles Lamb, “My First Play”, “Dream Children, a Reverie”, “Sanity of True Genius”

Samuel Johnson, Preface to Shakespeare

Galileo–Starry Messenger

Tommaso Campanella, “Arguments for and against Galileo”

David Hume, “Of the Standard of Taste”, “Of Refinement in the Arts”, “Of Money”, “Of the Balance of Trade”, “Of Taxes”, “Of the Study of History”

Jonathan Swift, “Meditations Upon a Broomstick”, “Reflections When I Come to Be Old”, “An Essay on Modern Education”, “A Modest Proposal…”

Plutarch, “Of Bashfulness”, “Contentment”

Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Lantern-Bearers”

John Ruskin, “An Idealist’s Arraignment of the Age”

Michael Faraday, “Observations on Mental Education”

Edmund Burke, “Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol”

Macaulay, “Machiavelli”

Voltaire, “English Men and Ideas”

Dante, “On World Government”

Carl von Clausewitz, “What is War?”

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