Great Books of the Western World Year One

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Check the Great Books of the Western World main page with links to all other years.

The following is the first year of the suggested ten year reading plan for the Second Edition, linked to public domain versions of each of the readings. Note that preference is given to completed audio versions on LibriVox. If there is no completed audio version but the work is in progress, then a link is provided to the forum thread. If there is no version in progress, then a link is provided to a public domain text source.

PLATO: Apology, Crito

Apology -
Crito -

ARISTOPHANES: The Clouds, Lysistrata

The Clouds -
Lysistrata -

PLATO: The Republic [Book I-II]

ARISTOTLE: Nicomachean Ethics [Book I]

ARISTOTLE: Politics [Book I]

PLUTARCH: The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans [Lycurgus, Numa Pompilius, Lycurgus and Numa Compared, Alexander, Caesar] (Lycurgus, Numa Pompilius, Lycurgus and Numa Compared)
Text - Complete -
Text - Individual Volumes -,, and

THE NEW TESTAMENT [The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, The Acts of the Apostles]

The Gospel According to Saint Matthew -
The Acts of the Apostles -

ST. AUGUSTINE: The Confessions [Book I-VIII]


RABELAIS: Gargantua and Pantagruel

Book 1 -
Book 2 -
Text - Complete -
Text - Individual Volumes -,,,, and

MONTAIGNE: The Essays [Of custom, and not easily changing an accepted law; Of pedantry; Of the education of children; It is folly to measure the true and false by our own capacity; Of cannibals; That the taste of good and evil depends in large part on the opinion we have of them; Of some verses of Virgil]

Book 1 -
Book 2 -
Book 3 -
Text - Complete -
Text - Individual Volumes -,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


LOCKE: Concerning Civil Government [Second Essay]

ROUSSEAU: The Social Contract [Book I-II]

GIBBON: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire [Ch. 15-16]

All six volumes:

The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, The Federalist [Numbers 1-10, 15,31,47, 51, 68-71]

Declaration of Independence -
Constitution of the United States -
The Federalist -

SMITH: The Wealth of Nations [Introduction-Book I, Ch. 9]

TOCQUEVILLE: Democracy in America [Vol I, Park II, Ch. 6-8]

Vol. 1:
Vol. 2:

MARX-ENGELS: Manifesto of the Communist Party

IBSEN: The Master Builder

SCHRÖDINGER: What is Life (published 1944 - likely still in copyright.)