My Complete Reading List

Jason Goetz

Twitter: @GreatBooksDude

Website: (specializing in online Great Books programs!)

This page will be updated monthly to include new additions to the list.

This should start with the books I’ve written: The Bubble Boys: How Mistaken Educational Ideals and Practices are Causing a Warped Social Fabric (, 256 pages—released Jan 3, 2011) and The Decline of the Epic? (—released Jan 2, 2012).  I also released “Rules for Writing” on June 10, 2013 ( Reviews and publication information for my Essays on the Classics! series can be found at Currently I am teaching Great Books courses in groups of 5-10 on Google Hangouts, a necessary and superb program for high school and college students as well as adults.  I also should note that I took Multi-Variable Calculus as a junior in high school and studied Japanese, Hebrew, and Latin.  Now here goes the rest:

The Reading Program here accounted for started June 30, 2008; the Great Books were kicked off with Homer’s Iliad in late December, 2008.  Some of these cross genres and so they are listed under the category I feel best describes them.  In Fed We Trust, by David Wessel, for instance, is both about macroeconomics and politics.  Likewise, The Clinton Tapes by Taylor Branch is both political and historical.  I have attempted to list great literature by time period and other books in alphabetical order of authors’ last names.

Great Books

Gilgamesh (epic poem)

Homer-Iliad and Odyssey (epic poems-Trojan War, Odysseus’ journey from the Trojan War back to Ithaca-these are rather complete in scope; The Iliad is my personal favorite text of all time and that is not subject to change)

Hesiod-Theogony (selections)

Old Testament, King James Version (Bible)

The Bhagavad Gita (epic poem-philosophy/theology)

Aesop’s Fables

Confucius-Analects (philosophy—aphorisms)

Sun-Tzu-The Art of War (military philosophy)

Aeschylus-“The Suppliant Maidens,” “The Persians,” “The Seven Against Thebes,” “Prometheus Bound,” “Agamemnon,” “Choepheroe,” “Eumenides” (plays-tragedy)

Sophocles-“Ajax,” “Electra,” “Philoctetes,” “The Women of Trachis,” “Oedipus as King,” “Oedipus at Colonus,” “Antigone” (plays-tragedy)

Euripides-“Alcestis,” “Medea,” “Hippolytus,” “The Children of Heracles,” “Electra,” “The Phoenician Women,” “Helen,” “The Cyclops,” “Andromache,” “Rhesus,” “The Suppliants,” “The Trojan Women,” “Ion,” “Hecuba,” “Heracles Mad,” “Iphigenia Among the Tauri,” “Iphigenia at Aulis,” “Orestes” (plays-tragedy)

Aristophanes-“The Acharnians,” “The Clouds,” “The Lysistrata,” “The Knights,” “The Plutus,” “The Thesmophoriazusae,” “The Ecclesiazusae,” “The Wasps,” “The Peace,” “The Birds,” “The Frogs” (plays-comedy)

Herodotus-The Histories (history)

Thucydides-History of the Peloponnesian War (history, politics, international relations)

Plato-Charmides, Lysis, Laches, Protagoras, Euthydemus, Cratylus, Phaedrus, Ion, Symposium, Meno, Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Gorgias, Republic, Timaeus, Critias, Parmenides, Thaetetus, Sophist, Statesman, Philebus, Laws, “The Seventh Letter” (philosophy)

Xenophon-The Persian Expedition (memoir, history, reads closer to a novel)

Aristotle-Categories, On Interpretation, Nicomachean Ethics, The Athenian Constitution, Politics, Rhetoric, Poetics (philosophy; Aristotle is complete in scope)

Euclid-Elements (geometry)

Archimedes-Measurement of a Circle (Archimedes here asserts that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is greater than 3 and 10/71 and less than 3 and 1/7, closely approximating pi), The Sand-Reckoner (combination of geometry and number theory used to prove that if sand filled the whole universe we could still place a number on the amount of grains it would take), On the Equilibrium of Planes

Hippocrates-“The Oath,” “On Ancient Medicine,” “On Airs, Waters, and Places,” “The Book of Prognostics,” “Of Regimen in Acute Diseases,” “Of the Epidemics,” “On Fractures,” “On Injuries of the Head,” “On the Surgery,” “On the Articulations,” “The Law,” “On Ulcers,” “On Fistulae,” “On Hemorrhoids,” “On the Sacred Disease,” “Instruments of Reduction,” Aphorisms (medicine)

Galen-On the Natural Faculties (medicine)

Nicomachus of Gerasa-Introduction to Arithmetic (mathematics)

Polybius-The Rise of the Roman Empire (abridged version of Polybius’ Histories)

Julius Caesar-The Gallic War (with Book VIII by Aulus Hirtius—history, memoir), The Civil War (with Alexandrian WarAfrican War, and Spanish War–but Spanish War does not look like it’s his)

Cicero-Republic, Laws (political theory—Republic is in fragments, the manuscript’s in terrible shape.  Laws isn’t fully complete but a large majority of the text is extant and it can be read like a normal book.  Cicero’s fantastic and especially as he is distinct from Plato.), On Obligations (philosophy–ethics), The Nature of the Gods (philosophy/theology), “First Oration Against Catiline,” “Second Oration Against Catiline,” “Third Oration Against Catiline,” “Fourth Oration Against Catiline,” “Oration in Defense of Publius Sylla,” “Speech in Defense of Aulus Licinius Archias,” “Speech in Defense of the Proposed Manilian Law,” “First Oration Against Antonius,” “Second Oration Against Antonius,” “Ninth Oration Against Antonius.” “Fourteenth/Last Oration Against Antonius” (speeches)

Lucretius-On the Nature of Things (epic poem-philosophy, science, human nature and behavior; intense and complete in scope)

Sallust-Catiline’s War, The Jugurthine War (history), Histories (in fragments)

Virgil-Eclogues, Georgics, Aeneid (poetry; the Aeneid is an epic poem covering Aeneas’ escape from Troy and the subsequent founding of Rome-politics, gender, wandering, war, religion)

Livy-History of Rome (Books I-X, XXI-XLV)

Ovid-Metamorphoses (long poem—Greek mythology)

Lucan-Pharsalia (epic poem—civil war pitting Pompey against Caesar and marking the fall of the Republic)


New Testament, King James Version (Bible)

Epictetus-The Enchiridion, The Discourses (philosophy-Stoic)

Plutarch-Theseus, Romulus, Theseus and Romulus Compared, Lycurgus, Numa Pompilius, Lycurgus and Numa Compared, Solon, Publicola, Solon and Publicola Compared, Themistocles, Camillus, Pericles, Fabius, Fabius and Pericles Compared, Alcibiades, Coriolanus, Alcibiades and Coriolanus Compared, Timoleon, Aemilius Paulus, Aemilius Paulus and Timoleon Compared, Pelopidas, Marcellus, Marcellus and Pelopidas Compared, Aristides, Marcus Cato (Censor), Aristides and Marcus Cato Compared, Philopoemen, Flamininus, Flamininus and Philopoemen Compared, Pyrrhus, Caius Marius, Lysander, Sulla, Lysander and Sulla Compared, Cimon, Lucullus, Cimon and Lucullus Compared, Nicias, Crassus, Crassus and Nicias Compared, Sertorius, Eumenus, Eumenus and Sertorius Compared, Agesilaus, Pompey, Agesilaus and Pompey Compared, Alexander, Caesar, Phocion, Cato the Younger, Agis, Cleomenes, Tiberius Gracchus, Caius Gracchus, Caius and Tiberius Gracchus and Agis and Cleomenes Compared, Demosthenes, Cicero, Cicero and Demosthenes Compared, Demetrius, Antony, Antony and Demetrius Compared, Dion, Marcus Brutus, Brutus and Dion Compared, Aratus, Artaxerxes, Galba, Otho (history-biography; these constitute Plutarch’s classic, Parallel Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans)

Tacitus-The Annals and The Histories (history-politics, war, religion, gender; Tacitus is complete in scope), Agricola (biography-panegyric), Germany (history-region/people), A Dialogue on Oratory (Ciceronian dialogue)

Suetonius-The Twelve Caesars (Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian)

Arrian–The Campaigns of Alexander (history); Indica (geography)

Marcus Aurelius-Meditations (philosophy-Stoic)

Plotinus-The First Ennead, The Second Ennead, The Third Ennead, The Fourth Ennead, The Fifth Ennead, The Sixth Ennead (philosophy-theology)

Ammianus Marcellinus—The Later History of Rome (Books XIV-XXXI cover the years 354-378)

Quintus of Smyrna-The Fall of Troy (PostHomerica) (epic poem-Trojan War; completes the story which was begun in Homer’s Iliad)

St. Augustine of Hippo-Confessions, City of God, On Christian Doctrine (politics, theology and autobiography)

Boethius-The Consolation of Philosophy (this is a life-changer)

The Koran—“The Cow,” “The ‘Imrans,” “Women”

The Venerable Bede—Ecclesiastical History of the English People (history, religion, politics)

Einhard–Life of Charlemagne (biography)

The Monk of St. Gall–Life of Charlemagne (biography)

Beowulf (Anglo-Saxon epic—who would think the king would be totally ineffectual?!?)

The Song of Roland (French epic)

The Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel (Irish saga)

The Niebelungenlied (German epic)

El Cid (Spanish epic)

Amadis de Gaul (French or Portuguese romance)

Thomas Aquinas-Treatise on Creation, Treatise on the Work of the Six Days, Treatise on the Trinity, Treatise on the Angels, Treatise on Man, Treatise on the Divine Government, Treatise on the Last End (theology)

Marco Polo–The Travels of Marco Polo (travel memoir)

Dante Alighieri-The Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) (epic poem-religion, politics, science; Dante is complete in scope), De Monarchia (political philosophy)

Giovanni Boccaccio-The Decameron

Geoffrey Chaucer-Troilus and Criseyde; The Canterbury TalesThe Legend of Good Women (long poems-religion, politics, war, gender.  Chaucer is complete in scope.)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Arthurian epic in Northern English dialect)

Sir Thomas Malory-Le Morte D’Arthur (prose rendition of the Arthurian legends)

Lorenzo Valla–The Donation of Constantine

Luca Pacioli–The Rules of Double-Entry Bookkeeping (accounting, business)

Giovanni Pico (Pico della Mirandola)–Oration on the Dignity of Man

Nicolo Machiavelli-The Prince and Discourses on Livy (political philosophy); The Art of War (military strategy); Florentine Histories (history and political philosophy)

Sir Thomas More-Utopia (the Ralph Robynson translation contains as much Robynson as More), History of King Richard III (lies!)

Antonio Pigafetta–Magellan’s Voyage (travel journal)

Desiderius Erasmus-In Praise of FollyJulius Excluded from Heaven (nonfiction satire); PanegyricThe Education of a Christian Prince (political philosophy and ethics)

Martin Luther-Ninety-Five ThesesAddress to the German NobilityConcerning Christian Liberty, selections from Table Talk

Baldassare Castiglione–The Book of the Courtier

Bartolommeo de Las Casas–A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (polemic)

Benvenuto Cellini–Autobiography

Martin de Azpiculeta–On Exchange (morals, economics, monetary value)

Francois Rabelais-Pantagruel and Gargantua

Bernal Diaz del Castillo–The Conquest of New Spain (adventure-memoir)

Jean Bodin–Six Books of the Commonwealth (political theory)

‘Junius Brutus’–Vindiciae contra Tyrannos (political theory)

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne-Essais (Books I, II, and III)

Bernardo de Vargas Machucha–Defending the Conquests (apology)

Giovanni Botero–On the Greatness of Cities (political theory, economics, urbanization)

Torquato Tasso-Jerusalem Delivered (epic poem-Crusades)

Edmund Spenser-The Faerie Queene (epic poem-knights sent by allegorical version of Elizabeth to restore virtue to a prodigal world)

William Gilbert-On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies, and the Great Magnet Earth (science—magnetism, cartography, navigation)

Johannes Althusius–Politica (political theory)

William Shakespeare-“The Comedy of Errors,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Twelfth Night,” “As You Like It,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Macbeth,” “King Lear,” “Hamlet,” “The Tempest,” “Othello,” “Julius Caesar,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” “Coriolanus,” “Timon of Athens,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “The First Part of King Henry IV,” “The Second Part of King Henry IV.” “King Henry V,” “Troilus and Cressida,” “The Tragedy of King Richard II,” “Pericles, Prince of Tyre,” “The Tragedy of King Richard III,” “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry VIII,” “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “All’s Well That Ends Well,” “Measure for Measure,” “Cymbeline,” “The Winter’s Tale,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Titus Andronicus,” “The Life and Death of King John,” “The First Part of King Henry VI,” “The Second Part of King Henry VI,” “The Third Part of King Henry VI” (plays-Shakespeare is complete in scope); Sonnets I-CLIV (poems); Venus and Adonis (poem)

Miguel de Cervantes-The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha (novel-satire)

Francis Bacon-New Atlantis (short story/philosophy), Advancement of Learning (philosophy-compendium of world learning), Novum Organum (philosophy-logic and systems of reason), Essays (“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 Boldness,” “Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature,” “Of Usury,” “Of Riches,” “Of Truth,” “Of Death,” “Of Adversity,” “Of Love,” “Of Beauty,” “Of Discourse,” “Of Studies,” “Of Friendship,” “Of Anger,” “Of Simulation and Dissimulation,” “Of Revenge,” “Of Unity in Religion,” “Of Envy,” “Of Nobility,” “Of Atheism,” “Of Superstition,” “Of Travel,” “Of Empire,” “Of Counsel,” “Of Delays,” “Of Cunning,” “Of Wisdom for a Man’s Self,” “Of Innovations,” “Of Dispatch,” “Of Seeming Wise,” “Of Expense,” “Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates,” “Of Regiment of Health,” “Of Suspicion,” “Of Plantations,” “Of Prophecies,” “Of Ambition,” “Of Masques and Triumphs,” “Of Nature in Men,” “Of Fortune,” “Of Deformity,” “Of Building,” “Of Gardens,” “Of Negotiating,” “Of Suitors,” “Of Faction,” “Of Ceremonies and Respects,” “Of Praise,” “Of Vainglory,” “Of Honour and Reputation,” “Of Judicature,” “Of Vicissitude of Things”)

Marlowe, Christopher–Doctor FaustusThe First Part of Tamburlaine the GreatThe Second Part of Tamburlaine the GreatThe Massacre at ParisThe Jew of MaltaDidoKing Edward II (plays)

Hugo de Groot (Grotius)–Commentary on the Law of Prize and Booty (selections), The Free Sea (selections), The Rights of War and Peace (political theory, international law, diplomacy)

Galileo Galilei-Starry Messenger (science—selections—astronomy)

Rene Descartes-Rules for the Direction of the Mind, Discourse on the Method, Meditations on the First Philosophy, Geometry (philosophy, epistemology, theology, and mathematics)

Benedict de Spinoza-Ethics, Theological-Political Treatise (philosophy–Spinoza is complete in scope)

Moliere-“The Misanthrope,” “The Doctor in Spite of Himself” (plays)

Sir Thomas Browne-Religio Medici, A Letter To a Friend Upon Occasion of the Death of His Intimate Friend, Hydrotaphia: Urne-Burial, or, A Brief Discourse of the Sepulchral Urnes Lately Found in Norfolk

Thomas Hobbes-Leviathan (political philosophy), De Homine, The Elements of Law Natural and Politic

John Milton-English Minor Poems, Paradise Lost (epic poem about Adam and Eve’s fall-religion, politics, war, gender; Milton is complete in scope), “Samson Agonistes,” (closet drama), Areopagitica (prose political tract about free speech), Paradise Regain’d (epic poem); Of Education, Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce; Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (political theory; religion), Second Defense of the English People, The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth

Blaise Pascal-The Provincial Letters (satirical political theology tract in letter form), Pensees (fragments of an intended larger work), “On Geometrical Demonstration (On the Geometrical Mind),” “Treatise on the Arithmetical Triangle,” “Correspondence with Fermat” (pure mathematics), Scientific Treatises on the Vacuum, the Weight of Air, and the Equilibrium of Fluids

John Locke-“A Letter Concerning Toleration,” (letter-theology, politics) Second Treatise Concerning Civil Government (political philosophy), An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, “Of the Conduct of the Understanding” (philosophy-epistemology), Some Thoughts Concerning Education (education)

William Penn-Some Fruits of Solitude (meditations/ethics), “An Essay towards the Present and Future Peace of Europe” (essay—politics, international relations, education, economics), No Cross No Crown

George Berkeley-Treatise on the Principles of Human Knowledge (philosophy-epistemology)

Daniel Defoe-Robinson Crusoe (excerpts) (novel), Moll Flanders

Joseph Addison-“Cato” (play)

Alexander Pope—The Dunciad (epic poem-satire)

William Congreve-“The Way of the World” (play-comedy)

Mathew Tindal–Christianity as old as the Creation

Henry Fielding—Joseph Andrews, Tom Jones (novels-satire)

David Hume-An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (philosophy-epistemology), Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

Thomas Woolston–Six Discourses Concerning the Miracles of Our Saviour

Jonathan Swift-Gulliver’s Travels (novel-satire), The Battle of the Books, “The Logicians Refuted”, “The Puppet Show”, Conduct of the Allies (pamphlet)

Laurence Sterne—The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (novel-satire of Swift, Locke, among others)

Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu-The Spirit of Laws (constitutional theory), The Persian Letters (epistolary novel—philosophy, politics, religion, gender, money—complete in scope), Causes of the Grandeur and Decadence of the Roman Empire (history)

Helvetius–Letter to Montesquieu

Voltaire-Candide (satire), TolerationLetters on Rabelais, ‘Grateful Thanks to a Charitable Man’

Marquis de Beccaria–Treatise on Crimes and Punishments (legal theory)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau-Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Discourse on Political Economy, The Social Contract (political philosophy), Emile (education), Confessions (autobiography)


Adam Smith-The Theory of Moral Sentiments (philosophy-ethics), The Wealth of Nations (philosophy-economics; Smith is complete in scope)

Thomas Jefferson–Notes on the State of Virginia

John Adams–Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America

Edward Gibbon-The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (philosophical historian is marvelous and complete in scope—a must-read with even more to enjoy), Memoirs of my Life and Writings

Samuel Johnson–Taxation No Tyranny (political pamphlet), Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland

Marquis de Condorcet–Observations on the 29th Book of The Spirit of Laws (deconstructive response)

American State Papers (political “philosophy”)

The Federalist Papers (political philosophy)

James Boswell-Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (biography)

Edmund Burke-Reflections on the Revolution in France (political philosophy, history), A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (aesthetic theory)

Philidor—Analysis of the Game of Chess

Thomas Malthus-Essay on the Principle of Population (economics-sustenance) (from Lewis, ed., The Real Price of Everything)

David Ricardo-Principles of Political Economy (macroeconomics) (from Lewis, ed., The Real Price of Everything)

Sir Walter Scott–Ivanhoe (romance)

Thomas Carlyle-The French Revolution (history)

John C. Calhoun-A Disquisition on Government, Discourse on the Constitution and Government of the United States (political philosophy)

Charles Mackay-Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (chapters I-III, from Lewis, ed., The Real Price of Everything) (sociology/economics)

John Stuart Mill-“On Liberty,” “On Representative Government,” Utilitarianism (political philosophy), Autobiography

Walter Bagehot-Physics and Politics

Mary Shelley-Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (epic novel-24 chapters)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe-Faust Part I, Faust Part II (play-possibly closet drama)

Alexandre Dumas-The Count of Monte Cristo (novel–revenge and justice); The Three Musketeers (novel–revenge and justice), Twenty Years AfterThe Black Tulip, Celebrated Crimes, Dictionary of Cuisine

William Makepeace Thackeray-“The Sorrows of Werther” (short poem)

Charles Dickens-A Tale of Two Cities (novel)

Stendhal—The Red and the Black; The Charterhouse of Parma

Karl Marx-Capital (economics, history, politics)

Karl Marx with Friedrich Engels-Manifesto of the Communist Party (economics, history, politics, philosophy)

John Paget–Paradoxes and Puzzles

Alexis de Tocqueville–The Old Regime and the Revolution

Leo Tolstoy-War and Peace (epic novel), Anna Karenina

Robert Louis Stevenson-The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Treasure IslandThe Black Arrow (novels)

Jules Verne-Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea (novel)

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.-The Common Law (series of lectures on legal history and theory)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle–A Study in ScarletThe Sign of the FourThe Hound of the BaskervillesThe Valley of Fear (novellas), The Adventures of Sherlock HolmesThe Memoirs of Sherlock HolmesThe Return of Sherlock HolmesHis Last Bow (collections of short stories), The Lost World

Henrik Ibsen-“A Doll’s House,” “An Enemy of the People” (plays)

Fyodor Dostoevsky-Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov (novels)

Wilson, Woodrow-Congressional Government (politics), History of the American People

Friedrich Nietzsche-Thus Spoke Zarathustra (philosophical novel), The Birth of Tragedy

Brooks Adams-The Law of Civilization and Decay (the science of history)

Thorstein Veblen-The Theory of the Leisure Class (economics, social psychology) (from Lewis, ed., The Real Price of Everything); The Engineers and the Price System (economics), The Higher Learning in America (economics, sociology, education), The Vested Interests and the Common ManThe Nature of Peace and the Terms of Its Perpetuation (economics, sociology, international relations)

William James–Pragmatism (philosophy)

Bertrand Russell–The Problems of Philosophy (philosophy–epistemology, metaphysics), Why I Am Not a Christian (religion)

G.E. Moore-Principia Ethica (philosophy—ethics)

George Bernard Shaw-“The Man of Destiny” (play about Napoleon), “Saint Joan,” “Pygmalion”

Albert Einstein-Relativity (theoretical physics and scientific philosophy)

Erich Maria Remarque—All Quiet on the Western Front

Vladimir Lenin-The State and Revolution (political theory), Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism (economics and political theory)

Sigmund Freud-The Sexual Enlightenment of Children, The Future of Psycho-Analytic Therapy, Civilization and Its Discontents (this text taints the world), Thoughts for the Times on War and Death

Franz Kafka-The Metamorphosis (novel)

Oswald Spengler-The Decline of the West (Abridged) (history/philosophy)

James Joyce-A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses (novels; Joyce is complete in scope), “The Sisters,” “An Encounter,” “Araby,” “Eveline,” “After the Race,” “Two Gallants,” “The Boarding House,” “A Little Cloud,” “Counterparts,” “Clay,” “A Painful Case,” “Ivy Day in the Committee Room,” “A Mother,” “Grace,” “The Dead” (these short stories form the novel Dubliners)

John Dewey-Democracy and Education (philosophy-education, society, psychology, and politics)

John Maynard Keynes-The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (macroeconomics) (from Lewis, ed., The Real Price of Everything)

Aldous Huxley-Brave New World (dystopian novel)

George Lefebvre–The Coming of the French Revolution

George Orwell-1984, Animal Farm (dystopian novels-political philosophy; Orwell is complete in scope), Homage to Catalonia (memoirs–Spanish Civil War)

Charter of the United Nations (1945)

Winston S. Churchill-The Birth of Britain, The New World, The Age of Revolution, The Great Democracies (these four volumes comprise Churchill’s History of the English-Speaking Peoples), Marlborough: His Life and Times (biography), Memoirs of the Second World War (six volumes)

C.S. Lewis-The Abolition of Man (essay)

John Kenneth Galbraith–The Great Crash: 1929 (economics)

Martin Luther King, Jr.–Stride Toward Freedom (Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56), Why We Can’t Wait (Birmingham Civil Rights of 1963)

Hannah Arendt—Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil; The Origins of Totalitarianism

Great American Literature

Anderson, Sherwood-“I’m a Fool” (short story)

Bellamy, Edward—Looking Backward

Benet, Stephen Vincent-John Brown’s Body (epic poem about the Civil War), “The Devil and Daniel Webster” (short story)

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”

Carnegie, Andrew-Autobiography

Crane, Stephen-The Red Badge of Courage (epic novel—24 chapters), “The Open Boat,” “The Veteran” (short stories)

Davis, Jefferson-The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (memoir)

Dershowitz, Alan—The Best Defense; Reasonable Doubts

Douglass, Frederick-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (autobiography—1845)

Du Bois, W.E.B.-The Souls of Black Folk (race identity and relations)

Eliot, TS-“The Wasteland” (poem), “Tradition and the Individual Talent” (critical essay)

Emerson, Ralph Waldo-“Self-Reliance,” “Thoreau” (essays)

Faulkner, William—Light in August, The Sound and the Fury (novels), “Dry September” (short story)

Fitzgerald, F. Scott-This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, The Love of the Last Tycoon, Tender is the Night (novels), “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” (short story/novella)

Franklin, Benjamin-The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (as title suggests—1771-1789), “Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress” (1745), “On the Morals of Chess”

Friedan, Betty–The Feminine Mystique (horrible book)

Goldwater, Barry–The Conscience of a Conservative

Harte, Bret-“The Iliad of Sandy Bar” (short story)

Hawthorne, Nathaniel-The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven GablesThe Marble Faun (novels), “Young Goodman Brown,” “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” “Endicott and the Red Cross” (short stories)

Heller, Joseph—Catch-22

Hemingway, Ernest-A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Garden of Eden, The Old Man and the Sea (novels), “The Killers,” “Hills Like White Elephants,” “The Indian Camp,” “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife,” “The End of Something,” “The Three-day Blow,” “The Battler,” “Big Two-Hearted River: Part I,” “Big Two-Hearted River: Part II,” “Now I Lay Me,” “In Another Country,” “A Way You’ll Never Be,” “A Very Short Story,” “An Alpine Idyll,” “Fathers and Sons,” “A Day’s Wait,” “The Undefeated,” “After the Storm,” “The Light of the World,” “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” “Wine of Wyoming,” “The Capital of the World,” “The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,” “Old Man at the Bridge” (short stories)

Hoover, Herbert–American Individualism (social philosophy)

Irving, Washington-“Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (short stories); History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher ColumbusVoyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus (history)

James, Henry-The Turn of the Screw (epic novella—24 chapters), “Paste,” “The Pupil” (short stories)

Kennedy, John F.–Profiles in Courage (nobody is completely sure whether this is Kennedy’s work or not)

Lewis, Sinclair—It Can’t Happen Here

Lincoln, Abraham-“Meditation on the Divine Will,” “The Gettysburg Address,” “Letter to Horace Greeley” (this was a poet speaking, frankly)

London, Jack-The Call of the Wild, White Fang (novels)

Melville, Herman-Moby Dick, Billy Budd (novels)

Miller, Arthur-“The Crucible” (play)

Nixon, Richard–The Real War

Parkman, Francis—France and England in North America

Poe, Edgar Allan-“The Imp of the Perverse,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Cask of Amontillado” (short stories)

Powell, John Wesley–Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons (exploration 1869-70)

Prescott, William H.–History of the Reign of Ferdinand and IsabellaHistory of the Conquest of Mexico (history); History of the Conquest of Peru

Roosevelt, Theodore-The Rough Riders (memoir—account of experiences in Spanish-American War)

Rose, Reginald–Twelve Angry Men (play–jury deliberation in patricide trial)

Rowlandson, Mary-A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (autobiography—1682)

Salinger, J.D.–The Catcher in the Rye

Steinbeck, John-Travels with Charley in Search of America (novel-memoir; these are two separate genres but this work melds them), Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of WrathThe PearlThe Moon is Down (novels)

Stowe, Harriet Beecher-Uncle Tom’s Cabin (novel, propaganda)

Thoreau, Henry David-Walden (novel), “Civil Disobedience” (essay)

Twain, Mark-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the PauperThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson (novels), Letters From the Earth (collection of short stories and great humor essays), “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg” (short stories), Old Times on the Mississippi (novel-memoir—1875), Roughing It (novel-memoir–1872)

Turner, Frederick Jackson–The Frontier in American History (history)

Washington, Booker T.–Up From Slavery (autobiography)

Wharton, Edith-“Roman Fever” (short story)

Woodward, Bob (with Carl Bernstein)–All the President’s Men (uncovering of Watergate), The Final Days (last days of the Nixon administration)

X, Malcolm–The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Other 20th Century Literature

Achebe, Chinua-Things Fall Apart (novel–Nigeria)

Bulgakov, Mikhail-The Master and Margarita (novel in the train of Faust, Job, and the line of fiction wherein the devil appears in real life)

Chandler, Raymond—The Big Sleep

Gardner, John-Grendel (short novel about the villain in the great epic Beowulf)

Hesse, Hermann-Siddhartha (epic novella about the famed Indian)

Irving, John-A Prayer for Owen Meany (very, very bizarre—but I read it for Ant Amuu so it gets listed)

Kacyzinski, Ted—The Unabomber’s Manifesto

Kinsella, W.P.–Shoeless Joe

Lardner, Ring-“Who Dealt?” (short story)

O’Brien, Tim-The Things They Carried (novel—Vietnam War)

O’Neill, Eugene-“The Emperor Jones” (play)

Paton, Alan-Cry, the Beloved Country (novel—South Africa)

Potok, Chaim-The Chosen (novel—Jews)

Toole, John Kennedy-A Confederacy of Dunces (New Orleans-based cult comedy and Pulitzer Prize winner)

Williams, Tennessee-“The Glass Menagerie” (play)

History and Biography

Adams, Brooks-The Theory of Social Revolutions (political history)

Alford, Stephen-The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I (place and era)

Ashmore, Harry S.-Unseasonable Truths: The Life of Robert Maynard Hutchins (biography-innovative 20th Century educator)

Beam, Alex-A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books (about the Great Books of the Western World)

Bernier, Olivier-Louis XIV (biography)

Bingham, Howard and Max Wallace-Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight: Cassius Clay v. The United States of America (sport, politics, religion, law, time period)

Blanchard, Jean-Vincent–Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu and the Rise of France (biography)

Brickhill, Paul—The Great Escape

Buisseret, David (editor)–Monarchs, Ministers, and Maps: The Emergence of Cartography as a Tool of Government in Early Modern Europe (cartography, politics)

Burckhardt, Jacob-Judgments on History and HistoriansThe Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (history, philosophy, politics)

Burstein, Andrew and Nancy Isenberg-Madison and Jefferson

Burton, Orville Vernon-The Age of Lincoln (time period)

Chesney, Colonel Charles-Waterloo Lectures

Churchill, Winston-The Great Republic (about the United States)

Chernow, Ron-Alexander Hamilton (biography-American statesman, scholar, finance minister, military hero); Washington (biography-needs no explanation)

Cline, Eric H.–1177 B.C.: The Year That Civilization Collapsed (late Bronze Age)

Cook, J.M.-The Persians (ancient empire)

Cowley, Robert (editor)-What Ifs of American History

Cronin, Vincent–Catherine, Empress of All the Russias (biography)

Crowley, Roger–1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West (event–sack and conquest of Constantinople by Ottoman Turks)

Darby, Graham (editor)–The Origins and Development of the Dutch Revolt (event, 1568-1648)

Durant, Will–Caesar and Christ, The Age of Faith, The RenaissanceThe Age of Reason Begins, The Age of Voltaire, Rousseau and Revolution, The Age of Napoleon

Edwards, Anne-Early Reagan: The Rise to Power (biography—actor, union leader)

Egnal, Marc-Clash of Extremes: The Economic Origins of the Civil War (event)

Ehrlichman, Howard J.-Conquest, Tribute and Trade: The Quest for Precious Metals and the Birth of Globalization (has eerie parallels to the 21st Century)

Ehrman, Bart D.-The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot (thought)

Ellis, Joseph J.-Founding Brothers (about six of the Founding Fathers)

Evans, Richard J.-Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial

Falkus, Christopher and Antonia Fraser–The Life and Times of Charles II (biography–British monarch)

Farwell, Byron-Stonewall (biography-American military leader)

Ferguson, Niall-Civilization: The West and the Rest (rise and fall of powers)

Freedman, Marcia Penner-Willow Creek History: Tales of Cow Camps, Shake Makers & Basket Weavers (history of a region in Central California)

Freeman, Charles-A.D. 381: Heretics, Pagans, and the Dawn of the Monotheistic State (Roman and Catholic history—hits some relevant points but hideous grammar errors reflect a lack of clarity of thought)

Freeman, Philip-Julius Caesar (biography-Roman statesman, conqueror, scholar, emperor)

Gardiner, Sir Alan-The Egyptians (ancient civilization)

Garfield, Simon–On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks (cartography)

Graham, Roderick-The Life of Mary, Queen of Scots: An Accidental Tragedy (biography–monarch)

Gurney, O.R.-The Hittites (ancient civilization)

Guy, John-Thomas Becket (biography-chancellor for King Henry II of England, later archbishop of Canterbury and eventual martyr and saint)

Heidler, David S. and Heidler, Jeanne T.-Henry Clay (biography-American statesman)

Hibbert, Christopher—Nelson: A Personal History

Hobson, Charles F.-The Great Chief Justice: John Marshall and the Rule of Law (biography and legal synopsis of America’s finest jurist)

Hoffer, Peter Charles-A Nation of Laws: America’s Imperfect Pursuit of Justice

Holland, Tom-The Forge of Christendom (time period)

Hutchinson, Robert-Young Henry: The Rise of Henry VIII (biography–monarch)

Jardine, Lisa-The Awful End of Prince William the Silent (event, time period, person)

Landon, H.C. Robbins—1791: Mozart’s Last Year

Lee, Wayne E.-Barbarians and Brothers: Anglo-American Warfare, 1500-1865 (social history of warfare and in particular norms surrounding violence and restraint)

Levenson, Thomas-Newton and the Counterfeiter

Loades, David-Mary Tudor: The Tragical History of the first Queen of England (biography–monarch)

Longford, Elizabeth—Wellington: The Years of the Sword

McCrum, Robert-Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language

McCullough, David—John Adams, Truman, The Path Between the Seas

McLynn, Frank-Heroes and Villains: Inside the Minds of Six of History’s Greatest Warriors (people-Spartacus, Attila the Hun, Richard I, Cortez, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Napoleon)

McPhee, Peter–Robespierre (biography–French Revolutionary)

Millard, Candice-Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of the Republic (person, time period-about the assassination of James A. Garfield in 1881)

Morris, Edmund-Theodore Rex (biography-Theodore Roosevelt-American president; focus-1901-1909)

Morris, Ivan–The Nobility of Failure: Tragic Heroes and the History of Japan (comparative biography)

Nagel, Paul C.-John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life (biography-6th American president)

Newton, Jim-Eisenhower: The White House Years (biography-Dwight D. Eisenhower-American president; focus-1953-1961)

Noonan, Peggy-When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan (biography-American president; memoir)

Palmer, R.R.—Twelve Who Ruled: The Year if the Terror in the French Revolution

Parish, Pat–Dutchman and the Devil: The Lost Story (legend of the Superstition Mountain treasure)

Parsons, Lynn Hudson-The Birth of Modern Politics: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and the Election of 1828 (take a wild guess?)

Penn, Thomas-Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England (biography-monarch)

Pietrusza, David-1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon: The Campaign that Forged 3 Presidencies (event)

Reeves, Richard-Daring Young Men (about the Berlin airlift of 1948-49)

Rehnquist, William H.–Grand Inquests: The Historic Impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson (constitutional law)

Ricks, Thomas E.—Churchill & Orwell: The Fight for Freedom

Ryback, Timothy W.-Hitler’s Private Library (this was a different kind of biography)

Schama, Simon-The American Future (values)

Seward, Desmond–Richard III: England’s Black Legend (biography–but a poor one–of English monarch)

Shebar, Sharon-Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal (Profiles of Great Americans for Young People series) (biography-American president)

Sloan, Cliff and David McKean-The Great Decision (about Marbury v. Madison and Chief Justice John Marshall’s decision)

Strathern, Paul–The Artist, The Philosopher, and the Warrior (Machiavelli’s negotiation with Cesare Borgia for Leonardo da Vinci’s services in 1502)

Suchet, John—Beethoven: The Man Revealed

Thompson, J. Eric S.-The Civilization of the Mayas

Williams, Juan—Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary

Winchester, Simon-The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary (examines the massive undertaking of the most exhaustive English-language dictionary)

Wilson, Derek-A Brief History of the English Reformation (place and era)

Yenne, Bill-Alexander the Great (biography-Macedonian/Greek conqueror, emperor)

Business, Economics, and the Like

Bernasek, Anna—The Economics of Integrity (economics, management/leadership)

Bossidy, Larry and Ram Charan-Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done (management and leadership)

Bruck, Connie-When Hollywood Had a King (in essence a business profile of Lew Wasserman)

Bruner, Robert F. and Sean D. Carr-The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market’s Perfect Storm (economic history and philosophy-time period, thought, culture, society, institutions.  This is an EXCELLENT book and should be required reading.)

Carnegie, Dale-How to Win Friends and Influence People (personal motivation)

Collins, Jim-Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t (management)

Cooper, Cynthia–Extraordinary Circumstances: The Journey of a Corporate Whistleblower (WorldCom financial statement fraud)

Covey, Stephen-The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (personal motivation)

Ferguson, Niall-The Ascent of Money (finance)

Friedman, Milton and Rose-Free to Choose: A Personal Statement (capitalist economics and its connection with politics and freedom)

Friedman, Thomas L.-The World is Flat (economics)

Johnson, Magic-32 Ways to Become a Champion in Business (leadership)

Lehane, Christopher, Fabiani, Mark, and Guttentag, Bill–Masters of Disaster: The Ten Commandments of Damage Control (leadership–crisis management)

Levitt, Steven and Stephen Dubner-Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics (economics-unintended consequences)

Lewis, Michael-Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (organization-the economics of Billy Beane’s Oakland Athletics); The New New Thing (about Jim Clark’s ventures); The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (about the financial world of the 2000s that led to the housing boom and bust)

McQuaig, Linda and Neil Brooks-Billionaires’ Ball: Gluttony and Hubris in an Age of Epic Inequality (fiscal policy, macroeconomics, political economy)

Mokyr, Joel-The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress (economic history-technology and innovation); The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700-1850 (economic history-time period, thought, culture, society, institutions)

Murray, Alan-The Wealth of Choices (economics)

Pande, Peter-The Six Sigma Leader (management and leadership)

Paul, Ron-End the Fed (macroeconomics-applied, politics)

Peet, John and Anton La Guardia–Unhappy Union: How the Euro Crisis–and Europe–Can Be Fixed

Rivette, Kevin G. and David Kline-Rembrandts in the Attic (management and leadership-focus on intellectual property)

Senge, Peter—The Necessary Revolution (sustainability)

Skidelsky, Robert-Keynes: The Return of the Master (economic philosophy)

Sowell, Thomas—The Housing Boom and Bust (economics-neoclassical, Friedmanist)

Stewart, Matthew-The Management Myth (organizational behavior)

Stiglitz, Joseph E.-Freefall (economics-neo-Keynesian)

Sutton, Robert I.-The No Asshole Rule (organizational behavior)

Talbott, John R.-Obamanomics: How Bottom-Up Economic Prosperity Will Replace Trickle-Down Economics (macroeconomics)

Tapscott, Don and Anthony Williams-Wikinomics (management and business)

Toffler, Barbara Ley (with Jennifer Reingold)–Final Accounting: Ambition, Greed, and the Fall of Arthur Andersen (Arthur Andersen fraud scandal)

Weber, Max-The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (sociology)

Wells, Joseph T.–Principles of Fraud Examination (accounting)

Wessel, David-In Fed We Trust (macroeconomics-applied; politics)

Parker Pen Company Case Study

Also such little pieces as the October 7, 2006 survey of “Talent” in The Economist—24 pages—are what make the education come to life.  I’m grateful for those little packets—the World Population Data chart, the Primerica packet on personal finance, etc.

Mathematics, Science, and Technology

Adair, Robert K.-The Physics of Baseball (applied physics, Newtonian, regarding motion)

Bell, E.T.—Men of Mathematics

Campanella, Tomasso—“Arguments For and Against Galileo” (from The Defense of Galileo)

Devlin, Keith-The Unfinished Game: Pascal, Fermat, and the Seventeenth-Century Letter that Made the World Modern (probability theory)

Diamond, Jared–Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (anthropology–very problematic book)

Einstein, Albert and Leopold Infeld-“The Rise and Fall of Classical Physics” (science-theoretical)

Eiseley, Loren-“On Time” (from The Immense Journey)

Galton, Sir Francis-“The Classification of Human Ability” (from Hereditary Genius)

Gullberg, Jan-Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers

Hawking, Stephen W.-A Brief History of Time (physics, cosmology and astronomy)

Hirshfeld, Alan–Eureka Man: The Life and Legacy of Archimedes

Johnson, Steven-The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–And How it Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World (epidemiology)

Kuhn, Thomas S.–The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Livio, Mario-The Golden Ratio (number)

Lyell, Charles-“Geological Evolution” (from The Principles of Geology)

Mendelev, Dmitri-“The Genesis of a Law of Nature” (from The Periodic Law of the Chemical Elements)

Mlodinow, Leonard-The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives (probability theory and chance)

Rockmore, Dan-Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis (pure mathematical theorem dealing with prime numbers with implications for technology)

Singh, Simon-Fermat’s Enigma (equation)

Viney, David-Getting to the top on Google: Tips and Techniques to Get Your Site to the Top of the Search Engine Rankings—and Stay There (search engine optimization)

Watson, James D.–The Double Helix (memoir about discovery of the structure of DNA)

Wohler, Friedrich-“On the Artificial Production of Urea”

Wolfe, Tom–The Right Stuff (development of NASA, Project Mercury, Space Race)

Autobiographies and Memoirs

Abbott, Jim (and Tim Brown)—Imperfect: An Improbable Life

Adams, Henry—The Education of Henry Adams (possibly the most educated man in American history)

Barkley, Charles-I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It (basketball superstar)

Bouton, Jim–Ball Four (baseball)

Brosnan, Jim—The Long Season; Pennant Race

Garfunkel, Felix—From Czernowitz: A Life in Three Continents: Memories of a Survivor

Horowitz, David-Radical Son

Miller, Marvin—A Whole Different Ball Game: The Inside Story of the Baseball Revolution

O’Neal, Shaquille-Shaq Talks Back (basketball superstar)

Piazza, Mike-Long Shot (baseball—catcher)

Rose, Pete-My Prison Without Bars (baseball superstar)

Schary, Dore—Heyday: An Autobiography (Schary was my grandmother’s uncle)

Sowell, Thomas-A Personal Odyssey (professor, economist, and philosopher)

Stevens, John Paul-Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir (associate justice on Supreme Court)

Torre, Joe (with Tom Verducci)-Chasing the Dream: My Lifelong Journey to the World Series (baseball player and manager)

Veeck, Bill-Veeck as in Wreck (baseball owner and team president)

West, Jerry (with Jonathan Coleman)-West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life

Wilson, Joseph (Ambassador)-The Politics of Truth (diplomat served primarily in Africa and the Middle East)

Sports and Leisure

Achorn, Edward-Fifty-Nine in ’84 (season-Charley ‘Old Hoss’ Radbourn’s 59-win season)

Asinof, Eliot-Eight Men Out (1919 World Series-re-made into a great movie by the same title)

Banner, Stuart-The Baseball Trust: A History of Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption (law)

Bassham, Gregory (editor)-The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy (thought, humor)

ben Cramer, Richard—Joe DiMaggio

Berkow, Ira-Court Vision: Unexpected Views on the Lure of Basketball (people)

Bird, Larry, Magic Johnson, Jackie MacMullan-When The Game Was Ours (time period)

Brady, Frank-Endgame: Bobby Fischer’s Remarkable Rise and Fall—From America’s Brightest Prodigy to the Edge of Madness (person-chess)

Bronson, Eric (editor)-Baseball and Philosophy (thought, humor)

Buckley, James Jr.-Perfect: The Inside Stories of Baseball’s Sixteen Perfect Games (there have been 4 since the time of publication, Johnson, Buehrle, Braden, and Halladay) (events)

Costas, Bob-Fair Ball (the business of baseball)

Cox, Joe–Almost Perfect: The Heartbreaking Pursuit of Pitching’s Holy Grail

Creamer, Robert–Baseball in ’41, Stengel

Curl, James-Jersey Joe Walcott: A Boxing Biography (person)

Deford, Frank-The Old Ball Game: How John McGraw, Christy Mathewson, and the New York Giants Created Modern Baseball (people and era)

Delaney, Tim-Seinology: The Sociology of Seinfeld (sociology-sitcom)

Deveney, Sean-The Original Curse (season and event-1918 World Series, Cubs vs. Red Sox)

Fainaru-Wada, Mark and Lance Williams-Game of Shadows (events-BALCO investigation)

Feinstein, John–Living on the Black (Feinstein followed the aging Tom Glavine and Mike Mussina around during the 2007 season)

Frei, Terry–March 1939: Before the Madness: The Story of the First NCAA Basketball Tournament Champions

Frost, Mark-Game Six (event-1975 World Series between the Reds and Red Sox) (event)

Giamatti, A. Bartlett-Take Time for Paradise: Americans and Their Games (philosophy of sport—Giamatti was a Professor of English at Yale, then President of Yale, then Commissioner of Major League Baseball, most famous for banning Pete Rose in the 6 months he served as the latter before his sudden death, so this remarkable, short work, published posthumously, is very much an eye-opener)

Goldstein, Richard-Spartan Seasons: How Baseball Survived the Second World War (time period)

Halberstam, David-October 1964 (event-Cardinals/Yankees World Series), The Teammates (the aging of Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio, Ted Williams), Summer of ’49

Hart, Stan-Scouting Reports (people)

Irwin, William (editor)-Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book About Everything and Nothing (philosophy-sitcom)

Jackson, Phil-The Last Season (season)

Jackson, Phil and Charley Rosen-More Than a Game (life)

Kahn, Roger–The Boys of Summer (baseball–Brooklyn Dodgers of 1952-53)

Kaplan, Jim-The Greatest Game Ever Pitched: Juan Marichal, Warren Spahn, and the Pitching Duel of the Century (interesting book but fails to persuade that the Koufax-Hendley game of 9/9/65 wasn’t cleaner)

Kimball, George-Manly Art (boxing)

Klapisch, Bob and John Harper–The Worst Team Money Could Buy (baseball–New York Mets of 1992)

Lanctot, Neil-Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella (biography-Dodgers catcher and Hall of Famer)

Leavy, Jane-Sandy Koufax (biography-Dodgers hurler and Hall of Famer)

Mathewson, Christy–Pitching in a Pinch (inside account of baseball by NY Giants pitching legend)

McCallum, Jack-Dream Team (event and team—1992 US Olympic Basketball team, almost undoubtedly the greatest team ever assembled)

Murphy, Cait-Crazy ’08 (season)

Olney, Buster-The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty (event-2001 World Series, Diamondbacks-Yankees, Game 7)

Pearlman, Jeff—The Bad Guys Won

Peterson, Robert–Only the Ball Was White (baseball-Negro Leagues)

Piascik, Andy-Gridiron Gauntlet: The Story of the Men who Integrated Pro Football in Their Own Words (time period-football)

Rappoport, Ken-The Little League that Could (about the third American Football League prior to the merger)

Ritter, Lawrence S.–The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told By Those Who Played It

Schmetzer, Mark J.-Before the Machine: The Story of the 1961 Pennant-Winning Cincinnati Reds (season)

Simmons, Bill-The Book of Basketball

Snelling, Dennis—Johnny Evers: A Baseball Life

Thorn, John-Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game (interesting book whose subject matter and plot parallel Paradise Lost, of all literary productions to emulate)

Whiting, Robert–You Gotta Have Wa (baseball-Japanese)

Williams, Ted (with John Underwood)–The Science of Hitting (baseball–five guesses and the first four don’t count)

Wojciechowski, Gene–The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds that Changed Basketball

Joe Cox–Almost Perfect: The Heartbreaking Pursuit of Pitching’s Holy Grail

Politics and Current Affairs

Alter, Jonathan-The Promise: President Obama, Year One

Arnn, Larry P.-Liberty and Learning: The Evolution of American Education

Barone, Michael-Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation’s Future

Beck, Glenn-Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine (littered with factual inaccuracies and incomplete arguments)

Bird, Caroline-The Case Against College

Blair, Tom-Poorer Richard’s America: What Would Ben Say?

Bloom, Allan-The Closing of the American Mind (education-political)

Branch, Taylor-The Clinton Tapes (politics; history)

Brutus Essays: I, IV, VI, X, XI, XII, XV, XVI (from Ketcham, ed., The Anti-Federalist Papers; these people are fascinating, even if we don’t know precisely who they were)

Bryce, Robert-Power Hungry: The Myths of Green Energy (environment and sustenance)

Buckley, William F. Jr.-God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of ‘Academic Freedom’ (education, conservative)

Cato Letters: V, VII (from Ketcham, ed., The Anti-Federalist Papers)

Coburn, Tom (Senator) with John Hart-The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankrupting America (finance, political reform)

Colodny, Len and Tom Shachtman-The Forty Years War (emphasis-neoconservative)

Coll, Steve-Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power (energy, environment, business)

Diamond, Jared-Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or to Succeed (environment and sustenance)

D’Souza, Dinesh-What’s So Great About America?; Letters to a Young Conservative; Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus (conservative)

Eberstadt, Nicholas—Men Without Work: America’s Invisible Crisis

Field, Mona and Charles P. Sohner-California Government and Politics Today (Ninth Edition) (from 2002, remains mostly relevant)

Fineman, Howard-The Thirteen American Arguments (journalistic narrative of enduring debates that inspire American political thought and action)

Franco, Massimo-Parallel Empires: Two Hundred Years of Alliance and Conflict Between the Vatican and the United States (diplomacy and negotiation)

Gifford, Rob-China Road: A Journey Into the Future of a Rising Power (journalistic travel narrative interspersed with insightful analysis of the history and institutions of China)

Glazov, Jamie-United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror

Harris, Sam–Letter to a Christian Nation 

Hayek, F.A.-The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism; The Road to Serfdom (neoconservative)

“John Dewitt” Essays: III (from Ketcham, ed., The Anti-Federalist Papers)

Kirk, Russell-The Conservative Mind (conservative but somewhat nutty in that it glorifies John Randolph, who can’t be glorified)

Kohn, Alfie-What Does It Mean to be Well Educated? (education)

Loeb, Paul Rogat-Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in Challenging Times (this is about taking political action, though he seems to think highly of those who get arrested, which is disconcerting)

Lopez, Robert O.-The Colorful Conservative (I edited this book and am in the acknowledgments)

Lukianoff, Greg and Haidt, Jonathan—The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure

MacMillan, Margaret-Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World (diplomacy and negotiation)

McNeely, Ian F. with Lisa Wolverton-Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet (education, knowledge, and institutions)

Miller, Aaron David–The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President

Novak, David-In Defense of Religious Liberty (religion, human rights, democracy—becomes Biblical exegesis at some point and loses focus)

Paarlberg, Robert-Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know (food policy)

Paine, Thomas-The Rights of Man; Common Sense (radical pro-revolutionary)

Pape, Robert A.-Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism

Pillsbury, Michael–The Hundred Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower

Plokhy, S.M.-Yalta (event-diplomacy and negotiation)

Podany, Amanda-The Brotherhood of Kings (period-beginnings of diplomacy in Ancient Near East circa 2350-1300 BCE)

Potter-Wendell-Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans (health care industry and public relations field)

Prochnik, George—In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise

Reynolds, David-Summits: Six Meetings that Shaped the Twentieth Century (events-diplomacy and negotiation-Munich, Yalta, Vienna, Moscow, Camp David, Geneva)

Sowell, Thomas-Knowledge and Decisions; A Conflict of Visions, Intellectuals and Society (neoconservative, Hayekian)

Spencer, Robert—Confessions of an Islamophobe

Wills, Garry-John Wayne’s America

Woodward, Bob–The Commanders (Bush administration and military leaders in Noriega coup and lead-up to First Gulf War); The Agenda (Clinton campaign and early presidency); The Price of Politics (2011 debt crisis and immediate aftermath), Plan of Attack (lead-up to Second Gulf War), The Secret Man (about W. Mark Felt, Watergate’s “Deep Throat”)

Other Interesting (and Creatively Applicable) Stuff

Borgoras, Waldemar—Tales of Yukaghir (Siberian folk tales)

Bovey, Alixe-Monsters and Grotesques in Medieval Manuscripts (medieval mythological creations)

Dale, Rodney-The Book of What? (random reference)

Felton, D-Haunted Greece and Rome: Ghost Stories from Classical Antiquity (as the title suggests, ancient ghost stories)

Frankfurt, Harry G.-On Bullshit (philosophy)

Frankl, Viktor E.-Man’s Search for Meaning (philosophy/psychology-existentialism)

Gladwell, Malcolm-Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking; The Tipping Point; How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference; Outliers: The Story of Success; What the Dog Saw (psychology, politics, business-how little things aren’t so little); David and Goliath

Greene, Robert-The 33 Strategies of War (ostensibly about war, this is really a strategy manual which can be applied to a chess game or business issue—but it has its limitations)

Hearn, Lacfadio—Kwaidan: Stories and Studies in Strange Things (Japanese legends)

Ikeda, Daisaku-Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death…And Everything In Between (Buddhism-Nichiren)

James, M.R.—The Ghost Stories of M.R. James (ghost stories)

Joynes, Andrew-Medieval Ghost Stories (as the title suggests-includes a selection from the Decameron, “The Huntsman of Ravenna”)

Lipson, Abigail and Daniel N. Perkins-Block: Getting Out of Your Own Way (psychology)

Rose, Robert-Rewiring Your Brain: Insightful, Inspiring People (I am featured in this one); U Can B More Than Human (I proofread this one)

Trash or Popular Literature

Ariely, Dan-Predictably Irrational (this book, aside from its title being oxymoronic nonsense, is extraordinarily short on logic)

Hamill, Pete–Snow in August

Moore, Michael-Dude, Where’s My Country (manifesto)

Pearl, Matthew-The Dante Club (novel)

Rowling, JK-Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (I had read the first 6 of these popular romances previously)

Ruiz, don Miguel-The Four Agreements (proving that you can take anything, call it “Indian wisdom,” and sell books; Rousseau’s noble savage lives)

Extrapolating Texts

Adams, Henry-“Thomas Aquinas” (from Mont St Michel-and-Chartres) (philosophy-time period, person-13th Century A.D. Catholic theologian, thought)

Bloom, Harold-The Western Canon

Bury, John Bagnell-“Herodotus” (from The Ancient Greek Historians)

de Quincey, Thomas-“Literature of Knowledge and Literature of Power;” “On the knocking at the gate in Macbeth” (literary criticism)

de Selincourt, Aubrey–The World of Herodotus

Eliot, TS-“Dante” (literary criticism)

Emerson, Ralph Waldo-Representative Men (essays on Plato, Swedenbourg, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Napoleon, and Goethe, plus an introductory essay—bizarre, confused book by a bizarre, confused man)

Ferguson, Kitty-The Music of Pythagoras (looks at the impact of Pythagorean philosophy through history)

Figueira, Thomas J., T. Corey Brennan, and Rachel Hall Sternberg-Wisdom of the Ancients: Leadership Lessons from Alexander the Great to Julius Caesar (business-management and leadership)

Fistell, Ira-Ira Fistell’s Mark Twain: Three Encounters

Frame, Donald-Montaigne: A Biography

Frank, Tenney-“The Financial Crisis of 33 A.D.” (discusses the works of Tacitus, Suetonius, and Cassius Dio as they adequately or inadequately explain the event)

Fredriksen, Paula-Augustine and the Jews (thought-Catholic theologian from the 5th Century A.D.)

Gardner, John-The Life and Times of Chaucer (time period, person-14th Century A.D. English poet, thought)

Giamatti, A. Bartlett-The Earthly Paradise and the Renaissance Epic

Greenblatt, Stephen-The Swerve (about the recovery of Lucretius in 1417 and the subsequent impact of the ideas contained within On the Nature of Things)

Hall, Donald E.-Subjectivity

Hazlitt, William-“On Swift” (17th Century A.D. British literary genius)

Heilbroner, Robert L.-The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers (economic founders-Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, Veblen, Mill, Marx, Keynes, etc.)

Hutchins, Robert Maynard-The Great Conversation (introduction to the Great Books of the Western World set)

Johnson, Samuel-“Preface to Shakespeare”

Kagan, Donald-Thucydides: The Reinvention of History (Athenian historian in the 5th Century B.C.)

Macaulay, Thomas Babington-“Machiavelli” (16th Century A.D. Italian political philosopher), Essay on Milton (17th Century British poet)

Martin, Richard P.-Myths of the Ancient Greeks (taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, among others)

Mason, Haydn-Candide: Optimism Demolished (regarding the French philosophe Voltaire’s masterpiece)

Melisaratos, Jerry-The Five W’s of God (Bible study)

Mlodinow, Leonard-Euclid’s Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace (mathematics)

Norman, Jesse-Edmund Burke: The First Conservative (about the English Parliamentarian, political philosopher, and orator)

O’Reilly, Bill and Martin Dugard–Killing Jesus: A History

Orwell, George-“Charles Dickens” (about the English novelist), “Rudyard Kipling” (English imperialist writer)

Palmer, Donald-Looking at Philosophy: The Unbearable Heaviness of Philosophy Made Lighter (covers most of the major philosophers)

Potter, David-The Victor’s Crown: A History of Ancient Sport from Homer to Byzantium

Reynolds, Barbara-Dante: The Poet, the Political Thinker, the Man (14th Century Italian literary genius)

Sainte-Beauve, Charles Augustin-“Montaigne,” “What Is a Classic?” (literary criticism)

Santayana, George-“Lucretius,” “Goethe’s Faust” (essays-philosophical poetry from the late Roman Republic and 19th Century Prussia)

Serrano, Miguel-C.G. Jung & Hermann Hesse: A Record of Two Friendships (author documents his meetings and correspondence with the two legendary thinkers)

Shapiro, James-Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?

Shorto, Russell-Descartes’ Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason

Sowell, Thomas-Marxism: Philosophy and Economics

Stone, I.F.–The Trial of Socrates

Unger, Miles J.-Machiavelli: A Biography

Walpole, Horace–Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard III

Mortimer Adler’s syntopical essays on the following:





















War and Peace


Children’s Literature (I tutor young students and strongly believe that the sharpest way to learn how to use language is to consider it through and around the printed word)

White, E.B.-Charlotte’s Web

Essays, Lectures, Short Stories, and Partial Classics

Lord Acton-“The History of Freedom in Antiquity,” “The History of Freedom in Christianity,” “Sir Erskine May’s Democracy in Europe (1877),” “The Puritan Revolution,” “The Rise of the Whigs,” “The English Revolution,” “The Hanoverian Settlement,” “Review of Bisset’s History of the Commonwealth of England (1867),” “Review of Macknight’s Life and Times of Edmund Burke (1858),” “Review of Thomas Arnold’s Manual of English Literature (1862),” “Review of Knight’s Popular History of England (1862),” “Review of Frederick Arnold’s Public Life of Lord Macaulay (1862),” “Review of Yonge’s Life of the Second Earl of Liverpool (1868),” “The Queen’s Journal,” “Review of Bright’s History of England (1888),” “Colonies,” “The American Revolution,” “The Influence of America,” “Review of Riethmuller’s Alexander Hamilton and his Contemporaries (1864),” “Political Causes of the American Revolution” (by this Acton in fact means the Civil War), “The Civil War in America: Its Place in History,” “Reports on the Civil War in America,” “Review of Hudson’s Second War of Independence in America (1863),” “Review of Blankenburg’s Die innern Kampfe der nordamerikanischen Union (1869),” “Review of Sander’s Geschichte des vierjahrgen Burgerkrieges (1865),” “Selections from Acton’s Diary of His Trip to America in 1853,” “Review of The New American Cyclopaedia (1858),” “Review of Bryce’s American Commonwealth (1888),” “Nationality,” “Cavour,” “Report on Current Events, January 1862,” “Report on Current Events, May 1862—Prussia,” “Report on Current Events, July 1860,” “’Bureaucracy’ by Richard Simpson (1859)” (these constitute Acton’s Essays in the History of Liberty, edited by J. Rufus Fears)

Adams, Henry-From History of the United States of America—“The United States in 1800”

Alighieri, Dante-“On World Government,” Book I of De Monarchia (political philosophy)

Apuleius, Lucius-“Cupid and Psyche” (from The Golden Ass)

Arnold, Matthew-“The Study of Poetry,” “Sweetness and Light” (literary criticism-emphasis on poetry)

Bacevich, Andrew J.-“I Lost My Son to a War I Oppose.  We Were Both Doing Our Duty.”

Bacon, Francis-“Cassandra, or Freespokenness,” “Typhon, or the Rebel,” “Cyclopes, or Ministers of Terror,” “Narcissus, or Self-Love,” “Styx, or Treaties,” “Sister of the Giants, or Fame,” “Memnon, or the Premature,” “Tythonus, or Satiety,” “The Suitor of Juno, or Disgrace,” “Diomedes, or Jealousy,” “Daedalus, or the Mechanic,” “Deucalion, or Restitution,” “Achelous, or Battle,” “Scylla and Icarus, or the Middle Way,” “The Sphinx,” “Metis, or Counsel,” “The Sirens, or Pleasure” (the ones after “Of Anger” are from Bacon’s Wisdom of the Ancients)

Barnet, Richard-“Popular Democracy and the Enemy Within” (chapter 3 of Empire of Liberty)

Bender, Bryan-“Military Considers Recruiting Foreigners”

Brown, Dee-“Wounded Knee” (from Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee)

Bryan, William Jennings-“Cross of Gold” (speech, 1896)

Burckhardt, Jacob-“Progress Denied”

Burke, Edmund-“Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol”

Butler, Samuel-“Customs and Opinions of the Erewhonians” (from Erewhon, chapters X-XIII)

Calhoun, John C.-“The Concurrent Majority” (from A Disquisition on Government)

Campbell, Norman Robert-“Measurement,” “Numerical Laws and the Use of Mathematics in Science” (from What is Science)

Carlyle, Thomas-“The Hero as King” (from On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History) (political philosophy)

Chekhov, Anton-“The Cherry Orchard” (play)

Cicero-“On Friendship,” “On Old Age”

Clifford, WK-“The Ethics of Belief” (philosophy-education), “The Postulates of the Science of Space” (mathematics—non-Euclidean geometries)

Conrad, Joseph-“Youth”

Dantzig, Tobias-“Fingerprints,” “The Empty Column” (mathematics-Chapters I and II from Number: The Language of Science)

De Crevecoeur, Jean-“The Making of Americans” (from Letters from an American Farmer)

De Maupassant, Guy-“Two Friends”

Dewey, John-“The Process of Thought” (from How We Think)

Dickens, Charles-“A Full and Faithful Account of the Memorable Trial of Bardell against Pickwick” (from The Pickwick Papers)

Dostoevsky, Fyodor-“White Nights” (short story)

Doyle, Michael W.-“A more perfect union?  The liberal peace and the challenge of globalization”

Eco, Umberto-“How to Justify a Private Library”

Emerson, Ralph Waldo-“History,” “Compensation,” “Spiritual Laws,” “Prudence,” “Love,” “Friendship,” “Heroism,” “The Over-Soul,” “Circles,” “Intellect,” “Art” (first series of Emerson’s Essays), “The Poet,” “Experience,” “Gifts,” “Nature,” “Politics,” “Nominalist and Realist” (second series of his Essays)

Engelhardt, T.-“Triumphalist Despair” (from The End of Victory Culture)

Epicurus-“Letter to Herodotus;” “Letter to Menoeceus” (letters-philosophy)

Erskine, John-“The Moral Obligation to be Intelligent” (philosophy-education)

Euler, Leonhard-“The Seven Bridges of Konigsberg” (mathematics-topology)

Faraday, Michael-“Observations on Mental Education”

Forsyth-“Mathematics, in Life and Thought”

Franklin, Benjamin-“A Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge among the British Plantations in America,” “Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania,” “On the Morals of Chess”

Fukuyama, Francis-“The End of History”

Galsworthy, John-“The Apple-Tree”

Gogol, Nikolai-“The Overcoat”

Guizot-“Civilization” (from History of Civilization in Europe)

Hamilton, Alexander-“To Edward Stevens, November 11, 1769,” “To James McHenry, February 18, 1781,” “Report on the Public Credit,” “Report on a National Bank,” “The Continentalist No. I,” “The Continentalist No. III,” “To John Adams, September 9, 1792,” “To John Adams, August 1, 1800.” “To John Adams, October 1, 1800,” “Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States, October 24, 1800,” “To Gouverneur Morris, December 26, 1800”

Hawthorne, Nathaniel-“Sketch of Abraham Lincoln” (person-political eulogy)

Hazlitt, William-“On Persons One Would Wish to Have Seen,” “My First Acquaintance with Poets” (literary criticism), “On the Feeling of Immortality in Youth” (philosophical essay)

Helprin, Mark-“Perfection”(from The Pacific and other stories)

Hogben, Lancelot-“Mathematics, the Mirror of Civilization” (from Mathematics for the Millions)

Horsman, Reginald-“The Other Americans,” “Race, Expansion, and the Mexican War”

Hugo, Victor-“The Battle with the Cannon” (from Ninety-Three)

Hume, David-“Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion,” “Of the Liberty of the Press,” “That Politics May Be Reduced to a Science,” “Of the First Principles of Government,” “Of the Origin of Government,” “Of the Independency of Parliament,” “Whether the British Government Inclines More To Absolute Monarchy or To a Republic, ” “Of Parties in General,” “Of the Parties of Great Britain,” “Of Superstition and Enthusiasm,” “Of the Dignity or Meanness of Human Nature,” “Of Civil Liberty,” “Of Eloquence,” “Of the Rise and Progress of the Arts and Sciences,” “The Epicurean,” “The Stoic,” “The Platonist,” “The Skeptic,” “Of Polygamy and Divorces,” “Of Simplicity and Refinement in Writing,” “Of National Character,” “Of Tragedies,” “Of the Standard of Taste,” “Of Commerce,” “Of Refinement in the Arts,” “Of Money,” “Of the Balance of Trade,” “Of the Jealousy of Trade,” “Of Taxes,” “Of Public Credit,” “Of the Study of History,” “Of Essay-Writing,” “Of Some Remarkable Customs,” “Of the Populousness of Ancient Nations,” “Of the Original Contract,” “Of Passive Obedience,” “Of the Coalition of Parties,” “Of the Protestant Succession,” “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth,” “Of Moral Prejudices,” “Of the Middle Station of Life,” “Of Impudence and Modesty,” “Of Love and Marriage,” “Of Avarice,” “Of Suicide,” “Of the Immortality of the Soul,”  “A Character of Sir Robert Walpole,” “My Own Life” (these constitute The Liberty Fund’s volume of Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary)

Huntington, Samuel-“The Clash of Civilizations?”; “The Hispanic Challenge”

James, William-“The Will to Believe,” “On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings,” “The Energies of Men,” “Great Men and Their Environment,” “The Sentiment of Rationality” (philosophy and psychology)

Jefferson, Thomas-“The Virginia Constitution” (from Notes on Virginia), “The Character of George Washington,” “Anecdotes of Benjamin Franklin” (biographical sketches of American leaders)

Johansen, Robert W.-“The Meaning of Manifest Destiny”

Kagan, Robert and William Kristol-“The Bush Doctrine Unfolds”

Kant, Immanuel—“Perpetual Peace”

Kasner, Edward and Newman, James R.-“New Names for Old”,” “Beyond the Googol” (from Mathematics and the Imagination)

Kipling, Rudyard-“Mowgli’s Brothers” (from The Jungle Book)

La Bruyere-“Characters” (people)

Lamb, Charles-“My First Play,” “Dream Children, a Reverie,” “Sanity of True Genius” (literary criticism, though the middle piece is more like a short story

Laplace, Pierre Simon de—“Probability” (from A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities)

Leonard, Ira-“Violence is the American Way” (of course it is not any more American than any other culture’s; this piece was total nonsense)

Lincoln, Abraham-“Address at the Cooper Institute.” “Last Public Address” (lays out the terms for Reconstruction)

Lind, Michael-“The First Republic”

Long, Haniel-“The Power Within Us”

Lucian-“The Way to Write History”

Macaulay, Thomas Babingon-Essays on Pitt, Clive, Hastings (Historical)

Machiavelli, Niccolo-“Letter to Francesco Vettori” (dated December 10, 1513)

Madsen, D.L.-“Origins: Exceptionalism and American Cultural Identity” (from American Exceptionalism)

Malik, Kenan-“Universalism and Difference in Discourses on Race” (this was an EXCELLENT critique of modern intellectualism and its political abuses)

Marx, Karl-Theses on Feuerbach, from The German Ideology, from Comments on James Mill, from The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844

Midgley, Mary-“Individualism and the Concept of Gaia”

Mill, John Stuart-“Nature” (essay)

Morone, James-“In God’s Name: Past presidents have shown there’s a better way to invoke God in wartime”

Nardin, Terry-“International pluralism and the rule of law”

from Nietzsche, Friedrich-On the Genealogy of Morals (philosophy-ethics)

from Norgaard, Richard-Development Betrayed (chapters 1-7)

Orwell, George-“Such, Such Were the Joys…”, “The Art of Donald McGill”, “Raffles and Miss Blandish”, “Shooting an Elephant”, “Marrakech”, “Politics and the English Language”, “Looking Back on the Spanish War”, “Inside the Whale”, “England Your England”, “Boys’ Weeklies”, “Tolstoy and Shakespeare”, “Review of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (Constance Garnett translation)”, “Bookshop Memories”, “Why I Write”, “Reflections on Gandhi” (essays and reviews)

Paine, Thomas-“A Call to Patriots—December 23, 1776” (from The Crisis)

Pater, Walter Horation-“The Art of Life” (from The Renaissance)

Peirce, Charles Sanders-“The Red and the Black”

Pliny the Younger-“The Eruption of Vesuvius” (from Letters)

Poincare, Henri-“Space,” “On Mathematical Creation,” “Chance” (mathematics-non-Euclidean Geometry, the psychology of mathematical invention, probability)

Plutarch-“Of Bashfulness”, “Contentment”, “On Listening”, “Whether Military or Intellectual Exploits Have Brought Athens More Fame”, “On Being Aware of Moral Progress”, “In Consolation to His Wife”, “On the Use of Reason by ‘Irrational’ Animals”, “On Socrates’ Personal Deity”, “How to Distinguish a Flatterer from a Friend”, “On the Avoidance of Anger”, “On God’s Slowness to Punish” (essays-moral–this is the full Penguin Classics selection of his Essays, though there are dozens more that I need to get to eventually)

Prescott, William H.-“The Land of Montezuma” (history-event)

Rousseau, Jean Jacques-“A Lasting Peace through the Federation of Europe”

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

Russell, Bertrand-“Mathematics and the Metaphysicians,” “The Study of Mathematics” (both from Mysticism and Logic), “Definition of Number” (from Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy)

Schiller, Friedrich-“On Simple and Sentimental Poetry” (literary criticism)

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

Schroeder, John H.-“Nonpolitical Dissent: Pacifist and Abolitionist”

Scott, Sir Walter-“The Two Drovers” (short story)

Scott-Childress, Reynolds-“Race, Nation, and the Rhetoric of Color”

Seneca-“On the Shortness of Life”

Severo, Richard and Lewis Milford-“St. Patrick Goes to Mexico” (from The Wages of War)

Shelley, Percy Bysshe-“A Defence of Poetry” (essay-literary criticism)

Sheridan, Richard-“The School for Scandal” (play)

Smith, Adam-“Letter from Adam Smith, LL.D., to William Strahan, Esq.” (regarding Hume’s death)

Stevenson, Robert Louis-“The Lantern Bearers”

Swift, Jonathan-“Resolutions when I Come to Be Old,” “An Essay on Modern Education,” “A Meditation Upon a Broomstick,” “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Ireland from becoming a Burden to their Parents”

Synge, John M.-“Riders to the Sea” (play)

Takaki, Ronald-“A Different Mirror”

Thoreau, Henry David-“A Plea for Captain John Brown” (read alongside Benet’s John Brown’s Body—“poets will sing” prediction resounds forcefully)

De Tocqueville, Alexis-“Observations on American Life and Government” (from Democracy in America)

Veblen, Thorstein–“Why is Economics not an Evolutionary Science?”

Voltaire-“English Men and Ideas” (from Letters on the English), “The Philosophy of Common Sense” (from Philosophical Dictionary), “Micromegas” (short story)

von Clausewitz, Karl-On War, Book I (military philosophy)

Washington, George-“Circular Letter to the Governors of All the States on Disbanding the Army,” “The Farewell Address”

Weber, Max-“The Protestant  Sects and the Spirit of Capitalism,” “Prefatory Remarks to Sociology of Religion,” “Confucianism and Puritanism Compared,” “Introduction to the Economic Ethics of the World Religions,” “The Religions of Civilization and Their Attitude to the World,” “Politics and the State,” “The Three Pure Types of Legitimate Rule,” “The Nation,” “The Belief in Common Ethnicity,” “The Household Community,” “Capitalism in Antiquity,” “The Conditions of Maximum Formal Rationality of Capital Accounting,” “Status Groups and Classes,” “The Distribution of Power in Society: Classes, Status Groups, and Parties,” “Parties,” “Intermediate Reflection on the Economic Ethics of the World Religions,” “Bureaucracy,” “Formal and Substantive Rationalization: Theocratic and Secular Law,” “The Vocation of Politics,” “The Vocation of Science,” “Basic Sociological Concepts,” “The ‘Objectivity’ of Knowledge in Social Science and Social Policy” (all of these except the first comprise Sam Whimster’s The Essential Weber: A Reader)

Whitehead, Alfred North-“On Mathematical Method,” “On the Nature of a Calculus”

Whitman, Walt-“Death of Abraham Lincoln” (person-political eulogy), Preface to Leaves of Grass

Wilde, Oscar-“The Happy Prince” (short story)

Williams, William Appleman-“Myth of Empty Continents”

Wilson, Woodrow-“On Being Human”

Woolf, Virginia-“How to Read a Book,” “The Art of Biography” (literary criticism)

Xenophon-“The Character of Socrates” (from Memorabilia) (person)

Zinn, Howard-“The Empire and the People”

“The English Bill of Rights”

“The Virginia Declaration of Rights”

“The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”

“Universal Declaration of Human Rights”

Presidential Inaugural Speeches

George Washington-1st and 2nd

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson-1st and 2nd

James Madison-1st and 2nd

James Monroe-1st and 2nd

John Quincy Adams

Andrew Jackson-1st and 2nd

Martin Van Buren

William Henry Harrison

James K. Polk

Zachary Taylor

Franklin Pierce

James Buchanan

Abraham Lincoln-1st and 2nd

Ulysses S. Grant-1st and 2nd

Rutherford B. Hayes

James A. Garfield

Grover Cleveland-1st


Imprimus Articles (published by Hillsdale College)

January, 2012—“Do We Need the Department of Education?” by Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute

February, 2012—“Blasphemy and Freedom of Speech” by Paul Marshall of the Hudson Institute

March, 2012—“What Public Employee Unions are Doing to Our Country” by William McGurn of News Corporation

April, 2012—“The Decline of American Monuments and Memorials” by Michael J. Lewis, Professor of Art at Williams College

November, 2012—“Is the Constitution Colorblind?” by Edward J. Erler of California State University, San Bernadino

Advocate Newsletters

June 2009—“Abraham Lincoln: Master Trial Strategist” by Hon. Michael L. Stern

May 2010—“Abraham Lincoln: The Funniest Trial Lawyer Who Ever Lived” by Hon. Michael L. Stern

Bill of Rights Foundation Quarterly Articles (each about 4 pages long)

Bubbles—covers Tulipomania, the Mississippi Scheme and South Sea Bubble, Great Depression, and current economic crisis (stolen by one of my students, unfortunately)

Augustine—covers his life and times, theology, and emphasizes his insights into human nature, fate and free will, and just wars

Herodotus and Thucydides—compares and contrasts the first historians of Greece

Henry Clay—discusses the life and times of Henry Clay, focusing on how his political career helped keep the Union together

John Stuart Mill and Individual Liberty—discusses the education, life, and philosophy of the great Utilitarian

The Teapot Dome Scandal—discusses the corrupt deal that took place in the Harding administration

The Major Debates at the Constitutional Convention—needs no explanation

King and Parliament in Medieval England—covers the rise and development of the House of Lords and House of Commons and the balance of power in English politics, contrasting today’s system with that established in the days of King John

Every New Generation—about civic education and the lack thereof in modern curricula

Simon Bolivar—discusses the life and times of the Latin American Revolutionary

J.P. Morgan and the Panic of 1907—citing Bruner and Carr (listed above), delves into the financial crisis of that year and its aftermath

Topics-A Personal Journal by Ira Fistell (a close personal friend of mine, Mr. Fistell hosted television and nationally-syndicated radio shows for well over 35 years.  Subscriptions to Topics are $15 for a year.  Editions are released every month.)

January, 2007

February, 2007

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