The Great Books

The Great Books

I have compiled a list of the Greatest Books, but it isn't exhaustive. Clicking on a link will take you to where the book is sold on so that you can purchase it if you so desire or learn more information about it, such as the ISBN number, publisher, publish date, etc.

I have tried to give as much essential information about each book as I could, since the really important things in most instances are the translators, the author, and the title. All of that is at your fingertips!

The sections are broken down into two categories: Primary Texts and Secondary Texts. The Primary Texts are the Great Books themselves - books that have shaped Western Civilization over the past many years and hopefully continue to shape our future. The Secondary Texts are books about the Primary Texts, usually produced to explain aspects of said Primary Texts. I will later include some language books that have helped me and others in the Secondary Texts section.

Thank you.

Primary Texts:

The Bible
-The New American Bible (With the Revised Book of Psalms and the Revised New Testament)
-The New Testament Translated by Richmond Lattimore

The Qur'an
-The Message of the Qur'an Interpreted (translated) by Muhammad Asad

-The Complete Greek Tragedies Translated by Richmond Lattimore and David Grene
---Aeschylus I: Oresteia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides (The Complete Greek Tragedies) (Vol 1)
---Aeschylus II: The Suppliant Maidens and The Persians, Seven against Thebes and Prometheus Bound (The Complete Greek Tragedies) (Vol 2)

-Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle Translated by Muhsin Mahdi and Charles E. Butterworth
-Alfarabi, The Political Writings: Selected Aphorisms and Other Texts Translated by Charles E. Butterworth

-The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates

Aquinas, Saint Thomas
-Aquinas: Political Writings

-The Clouds (found in Four Texts on Socrates: Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito and Aristophanes' Clouds) Translated by Thomas G. West and Grace Starry West
-Four Plays by Aristophanes: The Birds; The Clouds; The Frogs; Lysistrata Translated by William Arrowsmith, Richmond Lattimore, and Douglass Parker

-The Politics of Aristotle Translated by Peter L. Phillips Simpson
-The Politics Translated by Carnes Lord
-Aristotle on Poetics Translated by Seth Benardete and Michael Davis
-Aristotle: Poetics Translated by Joe Sachs
-Plato's Gorgias & Aristotle's Rhetoric Translated by Joe Sachs
-Aristotle's Physics: A Guided Study Translated by Joe Sachs
-Aristotle's Metaphysics Translated by Joe Sachs
-Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics Translated by Joe Sachs
-Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics Translated by Robert C. Bartlett and Susan D. Collins
-Aristotle's On the Soul and On Memory and Recollection Translated by Joe Sachs

-Averroes on Plato's "Republic" Translated by Ralph Lerner
-Decisive Treatise and Epistle Dedicatory Translated by Charles E. Butterworth

Cervantes, Miguel de
-Don Quixote Translated by John Rutherford

-The Divine Comedy (3 Volumes) Translated by Mark Musa
---The Divine Comedy: Volume 1: Inferno
---The Divine Comedy: Volume 2: Purgatory
---The Divine Comedy: Volume 3: Paradise

Descartes, Rene
-Discours De La Methode/Discourse on the Method Translated by George Heffernan
-Descartes: Discourse on Method Translated better by Richard Kennington

Dewey, John
-Individualism Old and New
-Liberalism and Social Action
-Freedom and Culture

Dostoyevsky, Fyodr (All titles translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, unless otherwise indicated.)
-The Idiot
-Crime and Punishment
-The Adolescent
-Notes from Underground
-The Brothers Karamazov
-The Double and The Gambler
-The Eternal Husband and Other Stories
---A Nasty Anecdote
---The Eternal Husband
---The Meek One
---The Dream of a Ridiculous Man

-The Complete Greek Tragedies Translated by Richmond Lattimore and David Grene
---Euripides I: Alcestis, The Medea, The Heracleidae, Hippolytus (The Complete Greek Tragedies) (Vol 3)
---Euripides II: The Cyclops and Heracles, Iphigenia in Tauris, Helen (The Complete Greek Tragedies) (Vol 4)
---Euripides III: Hecuba, Andromache, The Trojan Women, Ion (The Complete Greek Tragedies) (Vol 5)
---Euripides IV: Rhesus, The Suppliant Women, Orestes, Iphigenia in Aulis (The Complete Greek Tragedies) (Vol 6)
---Euripides V: Electra, The Phoenician Women, The Bacchae (The Complete Greek Tragedies) (Vol 7)

-The Federalist Papers

Franklin, Benjamin
-Autobiography and Other Writings

Friedman, Milton
-Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition

Fukuyama, Francis
-The End of History and the Last Man

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich
-Hegel's the Philosophy of Right Translated by Alan White
-Hegel's Philosophy of Right Translated by T. M. Knox
-The Philosophy of History Translated by J. Sibree
-Phenomenology of Spirit Translated by A. V. Miller

Heidegger, Martin
-Introduction to Metaphysics Translated by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt
-Basic Writings Translated by David Farrell Krell
-Parmenides Translated by Andre Schuwer and Richard Rojcewicz
-Being and Time: A Translation of Sein und Zeit Translated by Joan Stambaugh
-Nietzsche, Vols. 1 and 2 (Vol. 1: The Will to Power as Art; Vol. 2: The Eternal Recurrance of the Same) Translated by David Farrrell Krell
-Nietzsche: Vols. 3 and 4 (Vol. 3: The Will to Power as Knowledge and as Metaphysics; Vol. 4: Nihilism) Translated by David Farrrell Krell

-Herodotus: The History Translated by David Grene

-The Works and Days; Theogony; The Shield of Herakles Translated by Richmond Lattimore

Hobbes, Thomas
-Leviathan: With Selected Variants from the Latin Edition of 1668

-The Iliad of Homer Translated by Richmond Lattimore
-The Odyssey of Homer Translated by Richmond Lattimore

Hume, David
-Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals

Husserl, Edmund
-Phenomenology and the Crisis of Philosophy: Philosophy as Rigorous Science, and Philosophy and the Crisis of European Man Translated by Quentin Lauer

---Philosophy as Rigorous Science
---Philosophy and the Crisis of European Man
-Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology Translated by David Carr

Kant, Immanuel
-Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason Translated by Norman Kemp Smith
-Perpetual Peace, and Other Essays on Politics, History, and Morals Translated by Ted Humphrey

Lincoln, Abraham
-Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings Edited by Roy P. Basler and Carl Sandburg

Locke, John
-Two Treatises of Government
-An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
-John Locke: Writings on Religion
-Some Thoughts Concerning Education and of the Conduct of the Understanding
-A Letter Concerning Toleration: Humbly Submitted

-Lucretius: On the Nature of Things Translated by Walter Englert

Machiavelli, Niccolò
-Mandragola Translated by Mera J. Flaumenhaft
-Clizia Translated by Daniel T. Gallagher
-The Prince (Second Edition) Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield
-Discourses on Livy Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield, and Nathan Tarcov
-Art of War Translated by Christopher Lynch
-Florentine Histories Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield
-The Prince Translated by Leo Paul de Alvarez

Maimonides, Moses
-The Guide of the Perplexed, Vol. 1 Translated by Shlomo Pines, with an Introduction by Leo Strauss
-The Guide of the Perplexed, Vol. 2 Translated by Shlomo Pines

Marlowe, Christopher
-Christopher Marlowe: The Complete Plays

Marx, Karl
-The Communist Manifesto Translated by Martin Malia
-Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (Volume 1) Translated by Ben Fowkes
-Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (Volume 2) Translated by David Fernbach
-Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (Volume 3) Translated by David Fernbach

Mill, John Stuart

Milton, John
-Paradise Lost

Montesquieu, Charles de
-Montesquieu: The Spirit of the Laws Translated and Edited by Anne M. Cohler, Basia Carolyn Miller, and Harold Samuel Stone

Newton, Isaac
-The Principia : Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy Translated by I. Bernard Cohen, Anne Whitman, and Julia Budenz

Nietzsche, Friedrich (All titles translated by Walter Kaufmann, unless otherwise indicated.)
-The Will to Power
-The Gay Science: With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs
-Beyond Good & Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future
-On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo
-The Birth of Tragedy and The Case of Wagner
-Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for None and All
-On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life Translated by Peter Preuss
-The Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ: or How to Philosophize with a Hammer Translated by R. J. Hollingdale
-Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits Translated by R. J. Hollingdale

-Ovid's Metamorphoses : The Arthur Golding Translation of 1567
-The Erotic Poems Translated by Peter Green

-Plato's Dialogue on Friendship: An Interpretation of the Lysis, With a New Translation Translated by David Bolotin
-The Laws of Plato Translated by Thomas L. Pangle
-Socrates and Alcibiades: Four Texts Translated by David M. Johnson
---Alcibiades I
---Alcibiades II
-Phaedo Translated by Eva Brann, Peter Kalkavage, and Eric Salem
-Timaeus Translated by Peter Kalkavage
-Parmenides Translated by Albert Keith Whitaker
-The Being of the Beautiful: Plato's Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesman Translated by Seth Benardete --(This title contains the following three.)
---Plato's Theaetetus: Part I of The Being of the Beautiful Translated by Seth Benardete
---Plato's Sophist: Part II of The Being of the Beautiful Translated by Seth Benardete
---Plato's Statesman: Part III of The Being of the Beautiful Translated by Seth Benardete
-The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues
---Hipparchus translated by Steven Forde
---Minos translated by Thomas L. Pangle
---Lovers translated by James Leake
---Cleitophon translated by Clifford Orwin
---Theages translated by Thomas L. Pangle
---Alcibiades I translated by Carnes Lord
---Laches translated by James H. Nichols, Jr.
---Lesser Hippias translated by James Leake
---Greater Hippias translated by David R. Sweet
---Ion translated by Allan Bloom
-The Tragedy and Comedy of Life: Plato's Philebus Translated by Seth Benardete
-Phaedrus Translated by James H. Nichols, Jr.
-Gorgias Translated by James H. Nichols, Jr.
-"Protagoras" and "Meno": Translated, With Notes and Interpretive Essays Translated by Robert C. Bartlett
-Plato's Symposium Translated by Seth Benardete
-The Republic Of Plato: Second Edition Translated by Allan Bloom
-Four Texts on Socrates: Plato's Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito and Aristophanes' Clouds Translated by Thomas G. West and Grace Starry West
-Euthydemus Translated by Gregory A. McBrayer and Mary P. Nichols
-Socrates and The Sophists: Plato's Protagoras, Euthydemus, Hippias Major and Cratylus Translated by Joe Sachs
---Hippias Major

-Plutarch's Lives Volume 1 Translated by John Dryden
-Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 Translated by John Dryden

Popper, Karl
-The Open Society and Its Enemies, Vol. 1: The Spell of Plato
-The Open Society and Its Enemies, Vol. 2: Hegel and Marx
-The Self and Its Brain: An Argument for Interactionism
-In Search of a Better World: Lectures and Essays from Thirty Years
-World of Parmenides
-The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge
-The Myth of the Framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality
-Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography
-Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach
-All Life is Problem Solving
-The Poverty of Historicism
-Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge
-The Logic of Scientific Discovery

Rawls, John
-A Theory of Justice - Revised Edition
-Political Liberalism
-The Law of Peoples: with "The Idea of Public Reason Revisited"
-Justice as Fairness: A Restatement

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques
-Politics and the Arts: Letter to M.D. Alembert on the Theatre Translated by Allan Bloom
-Emile: Or, On Education Transalted by Allan Bloom
-The First and Second Discourses Translated by Roger D. Masters and Judith R. Masters
-On the Social Contract: with Geneva Manuscript and Political Economy Translated by Roger D. Masters and Judith R. Masters
-The Reveries of the Solitary Walker, Botanical Writings, and Letter to Franquieres Translated by Christopher Kelly, Charles E. Butterworth, Alexandra Cook, and Terence E. Marshall
-The Reveries of the Solitary Walker Translated by Charles E. Butterworth
-The Confessions and Correspondence, Including the Letters to Malesherbes Translated by Christopher Kelly, Roger D. Masters, and Peter G. Stillman

Schopenhauer, Arthur
-Essays and Aphorisms Translated by R. J. Hollingdale

Shakespeare, William
-The Norton Shakespeare: Based on the Oxford Edition (Second Edition), (Slipcased Edition)

Smith, Adam
-An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
-The Theory of Moral Sentiments

-The Complete Greek Tragedies Translated by Richmond Lattimore and David Grene
---Sophocles I: Oedipus The King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone (The Complete Greek Tragedies) (Vol 8)
---Sophocles II: Ajax, The Women of Trachis, Electra & Philoctetes (The Complete Greek Tragedies) (Vol 9)

Spinoza, Baruch Benedictus de
-Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise Translated by Martin D. Yaffe

Swift, Jonathan
-Gulliver's Travels and Other Writings

Tocqueville, Alexis de
-Democracy in America Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop
-The Old Regime And The Revolution: Volume One - The Complete Text Translated by Alan S. Kahan.

-The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War Translated by Robert B. Strassler and Richard Crawley
-The Peloponnesian War Translated by Thomas Hobbes

Tolstoy, Leo (All titles translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, unless otherwise indicated.)
-Anna Karenina
-War and Peace
-What Is Art?
-The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories
---The Prisoner of the Caucasus
---The Diary of a Madman
---The Death of Ivan Ilyich
---The Kreutzer Sonata
---The Devil
---Master and Man
---Father Sergius
---After the Ball
---The Forged Coupon
---Alyosha the Pot
---Hadji Murat

-The Aeneid Translated by David West

-The Education of Cyrus Translated by Wayne Ambler
-The Anabasis of Cyrus Translated by Wayne Ambler
-Xenophon: Memorabilia Translated by Amy L. Bonnette
-Hiero (Found in On Tyranny by Leo Strauss) Translated by Victor Gourevitch and Seth Benardete
-The Shorter Socratic Writings: "Apology of Socrates to the Jury," "Oeconomicus," and "Symposium" Translated by Robert C. Bartlett

Secondary Texts

de Alvarez, Leo Paul
-The Machiavelian Enterprise

Behnegar, Nasser
-Leo Strauss, Max Weber, and the Scientific Study of Politics

Benardete, Seth
-Herodotean Inquiries
-Achilles and Hector: The Homeric Hero
-Socrates' Second Sailing: On Plato's Republic
-The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy: Plato's Gorgias and Phaedrus
-Plato's "Laws": The Discovery of Being
-The Bow and the Lyre
-The Archaeology of the Soul: Platonic Readings in Ancient Poetry and Philosophy

Bloom, Allan
-Shakespeare's Politics
-Love and Friendship
-The Closing of the American Mind
-Giants and Dwarfs : Essays 1960-1990
-Confronting the Constitution: The Challenge to Locke, Montesquieu, Jefferson, and the Federalists from Utilitarianism, Historicism, Marxism, Freudianism

Bolotin, David
-An Approach to Aristotle's Physics

Alvis, John and Thomas G. West
-Shakespeare As Political Thinker

Burger, Ronna
-Aristotle's Dialogue with Socrates: On the "Nicomachean Ethics"

Collins, Susan D.
-Aristotle and the Rediscovery of Citizenship

de Coulanges, Numa Denis Fustel
-The Ancient City: A Study of the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome Translated by Willard Small

Forde, Steven
-The Ambition to Rule: Alcibiades and the Politics of Imperialism in Thucydides

Frost, Bryan-Paul and Jeffrey Sikkenga
-History of American Political Thought

Gamow, George
-The New World of Mr Tompkins: George Gamow's Classic Mr. Tompkins in Paperback

Hanson, Victor Davis
-A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War
-Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power
-The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern
-The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny
-Who Killed Homer: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom

Hawking, Stephen
-A Brief History of Time

Hoffer, Eric
-The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

Jaffa, Harry V.
-Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 50th Anniversary Edition

Kagan, Donald
-The Peloponnesian War

Kaufmann, Walter
-Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist

Klein, Jacob
-A Commentary on Plato's Meno
-Greek Mathematical Thought and the Origin of Algebra

Kojève, Alexandre
-Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit Translated by Allan Bloom and James H. Nichols, Jr.

Kuhn, Thomas
-The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Lerner, Ralph
-The Founders' Constitution Volume 1: Major Themes
-The Founders' Constitution Volume 2: The Preamble through Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4
-The Founders' Constitution Volume 3: Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5, Through Article 2, Section 1
-The Founders' Constitution Volume 4: Article 2, Section 2, Through Article 7
-The Founders' Constitution Volume 5: Amendments I-XII
---Note: The Founders' Constitution can be found at The Founders' Constitution
-Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook

McDonald, Forrest
-States' Rights and the Union: Imperium in Imperio, 1776-1876
-We the People : The Economic Origins of the Constitution
-E Pluribus Unum
-Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution

Mansfield, Harvey
-A Student's Guide to Political Philosophy
-Machiavelli's Virtue
-Taming the Prince
-Machiavelli's New Modes and Orders: A Study of the Discourses on Livy
-America's Constitutional Soul
-The Spirit of Liberalism

Nagle, Robert
-Gödel's Proof

Nichols, Mary P.
-Citizens and Statesmen: A Study of Aristotle's Politics

Palmer, Michael
-Political Philosophy and the Human Soul

Pangle, Thomas L.
-Justice Among Nations: On the Moral Basis of Power and Peace
-Political Philosophy and the God of Abraham
-Leo Strauss: An Introduction to His Thought and Intellectual Legacy
-The Spirit of Modern Republicanism: The Moral Vision of the American Founders and the Philosophy of Locke
-Montesquieu's Philosophy of Liberalism: A Commentary on The Spirit of the Laws
-The Learning of Liberty: The Educational Ideas of the American Founders
-The Ennobling of Democracy: The Challenge of the Postmodern Age

Ruderman, Richard S.
-Sufficient Justice: Xenophon's Anabasis and the Classical View of Ruling

Sacks, Robert D.
-The Lion and the Ass: A Commentary on the Book of Genesis
This title can also be downloaded for free at, and the subsequent articles are on the parent page.

Stauffer, Devon
-Plato's Introduction to the Question of Justice
-Empire and the Ends of Politics

Strauss, Leo
-The Argument and the Action of Plato's Laws
-An Introduction to Political Philosophy: Ten Essays
-What is Political Philosophy? And Other Studies
-Xenophon's Socratic Discourse
-Xenophon's Socrates
-Thoughts on Machiavelli
-Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy
-Spinoza's Critique of Religion
-Socrates and Aristophanes
-The Political Philosophy of Hobbes: Its Basis and Its Genesis
-Philosophy and Law: Contributions to the Understanding of Maimonides and His Predecessors
-Persecution and the Art of Writing
-Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity: Essays and Lectures in Modern Jewish Thought
-History of Political Philosophy
-The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism: An Introduction to the Thought of Leo Strauss
-Leo Strauss On Plato's Symposium
-Leo Strauss: The Early Writings, 1921-1932 Translated by Michael Zank
-The City and Man
-Natural Right and History
-On Tyranny
-Liberalism Ancient and Modern
-Reorientation: Leo Strauss in the 1930s (Recovering Political Philosophy)

Szasz, Thomas
-Psychiatry: The Science of Lies
-The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct

Tarcov, Nathan
-Locke's Education for Liberty

Tennov, Dorothy
-Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love

West, Thomas G.
-Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America

Westbrook, Robert B.
-John Dewey and American Democracy

Language Resources

-501 English Verbs: with CD-ROM
-A Dictionary of Modern English Usage
-The Elements of Style (4th Edition)
-The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition

-An Introduction to Ancient Greek: A Literary Approach
-All The Greek Verbs
-Greek Grammar
-Elementary Classical Greek, Revised Edition
-A New Introduction to Greek: Third Edition Revised and Enlarged
-An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon: Founded upon the Seventh Edition of Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon

-Wheelock's Latin
-Vergil's Aeneid, Books I-VI (Latin Edition) (Bks. 1-6) (English and Latin Edition)

-501 Spanish Verbs with CD-ROM and Audio CD