great books stack

The List

The Ancient Era

The Middle Era

Era of Reformation and Rennaisance

Era of Romance and Revolution

The Modern Era

The Global Era

A World of Science

"“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live.”"

Mortimer Adler




Other Great Books Lists

    "Great Books of the Western World" by Mortimer Adler

    The Syntopicon: An Index to the Great Ideas
    Angel to Love
    Man to World

    Homer. Iliad; Odyssey
    Aeschylus. Plays
    Sophocles. Plays
    Euripides. Plays
    Aristophanes. Plays

    Herodotus. History
    Thucydides. The History of the Peloponnesian War

    Plato: Dialogues; Seventh Letter
    Aristotle: Works

    Hippocrates. Hippocratic Writings
    Galen. On the Natural Faculties
    Euclid. Elements
    Archimedes. Works (including The Method)
    Nicomachus. Introduction to Arithmetic

    Lucretius. The Way Things Are
    Epictetus. Discourses
    Marcus Aurelius. The Meditations
    Plotinus. The Six Enneads

    Virgil: Eclogues. Georgics; Aeneid

    Plutarch. Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans
    Tacitus. Annals; Histories

    Ptolemy. Almagest
    Copernicus. On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
    Kepler. Epitome of Copernican Astronomy; The Harmonies of the World

    Augustine. The Confessions; The City of God; On Christian Doctrine
    Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica

    Dante. Divine Comedy
    Chaucer. Troilus and Criseyde; Canterbury Tales

    Calvin. Institutes of the Christian Religion

    Machiavelli. The Prince
    Hobbes. Leviathan

    Rabelais. Gargantua and Pantagruel

    Erasmus. Praise of Folly
    Montaigne. Essays

    Shakespeare. The Plays and Sonnets

    Gilbert. On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies
    Galileo. Concerning the Two New Sciences
    Harvey. On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals; On the Circulation of the Blood; On the Generation of Animals

    Cervantes: The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha

    Bacon. Advancement of Learning; Novum Organum; New Atlantis
    Descartes. Rules for the Direction of the Mind; Discourse on the Method; Meditations on First Philosophy; Objections Against the Meditations and Replies; The Geometry
    Spinoza. Ethics

    Milton. English minor poems; Paradise Lost; Samson Agonistes; Areopagitica

    Pascal. The Provincial Letters; Pensees; Scientific Treatises

    Moliere. The School for Wives; The Critique of the School for Wives; Tartuffe; Don Juan; The Miser; The Would-Be Gentleman; The Would-Be Invalid
    Racine. Berenice

    Newton. Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy; Optics
    Huygens. Treatise on Light

    Locke. A Letter Concerning Toleration; Concerning Civil Government, Second Essay; An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
    Berkeley. The Principles of Human Knowledge
    Hume. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

    Swift. Gulliver's Travels
    Voltaire. Candide
    Diderot. Rameau's Nephew

    Montesquieu. The Spirit of Laws
    Rousseau. On the Origin of Inequality; On Political Economy; The Social Contract
    Smith. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

    Gibbon. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    Kant. The Critique of Pure Reason; The Critique of Practical Reason, and Other Ethical Treatises; The Critique of Judgment

    American State Papers. Declaration of Independence; Articles of Confederation; The Constitution
    Hamilton, Madison, Jay. The Federalist
    Mill. On Liberty; Representative Government; Utilitarianism

    Boswell. Life of Samuel Johnson

    Lavoisier. Elements of Chemistry
    Faraday. Experimental Researches in Electricity

    Hegel. The Philosophy of Right;The Philosophy of History
    Kierkegaard. Fear and Trembling
    Nietzsche. Beyond Good and Evil

    Tocqueville. Democracy in America

    Goethe. Faust: Parts One and Two
    Balzac. Cousin Bette

    Austen. Emma
    Eliot. Middlemarch
    Dickens. Little Dorrit

    Melville. Moby Dick
    Twain. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    Darwin. The Origin of Species; The Descent of Man and

    Marx and Engels. Manifesto of the Communist Party; Capital

    Tolstoy. War and Peace
    Dostoyevsky. The Brothers Karamazov

    Ibsen. A Doll's House; The Wild Duck; Hedda Gabler; The Master Builder

    James. The Principles of Psychology
    Freud. The Major Works of Sigmund Freud

    20th Century Philosophy and Religion
    James. Pragmatism
    Bergson. An Introduction to Metaphysics
    Dewey. Experience and Education
    Whitehead. Science and the Modern World
    Russell. The Problems of Philosophy
    Heidegger. What is Metaphysics?
    Wittgenstein. Philosophical Investigations
    Barth. The Word of God and the Word of Man

    20th Century Natural Science
    Poincare. Science and Hypothesis
    Planck. Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers
    Whitehead. An Introduction to Mathematics
    Einstein. Relativity: The Special and the General Theory
    Eddington. The Expanding Universe
    Bohr. Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature; Discussion with Einstein on Epistemological Problems in Atomic Physics
    Hardy. A Mathematician's Apology
    Heisenberg. Physics and Philosophy
    Schrodinger. What is Life?
    Dobzhansky. Genetics and the Origin of Species
    Waddington. The Nature of Life

    20th Century Social Science
    Veblen. The Theory of the Leisure Class
    Tawney. The Acquisitive Society
    Keynes. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
    Frazer. The Golden Bough (selections)
    Weber. Essays in Sociology (selections)
    Huizinga. The Waning of the Middle Ages
    Levi-Strauss. Structural Anthropology (selections)

    20th Century Imaginative Literature  
    James. The Beast in the Jungle
    Shaw. Saint Joan
    Conrad. Heart of Darkness
    Chekhov. Uncle Vanya
    Pirandello. Six Characters in Search of an Author
    Proust. Remembrance of Things Past. "Swann in Love"
    Cather. A Lost Lady
    Mann. Death in Venice
    Joyce. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
    Woolf. To the Lighthouse
    Kafka. Metamorphosis
    Lawrence. The Prussian Officer
    Eliot. The Waste Land
    O'Neill. Mourning Becomes Electra
    Fitzgerald. The Great Gatsby
    Faulkner. A Rose for Emily
    Brecht. Mother Courage and Her Children
    Hemingway. The Short Happy Life of Macomber
    Orwell. Animal Farm
    Beckett. Waiting for Godot

    List is Copyright.
    Source: Great Books of the Western World. Ed. by Mortimer J. Adler, Clifton Fadiman, Philip W. Goetz. 2nd ed. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1990. © 1990