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Great Books Series - any info?

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May 4, 2011, 4:09am

I just came across this series:

Does anyone know if the books in it are abridged or otherwise different content-wise from the original works? (Some volumes do seem to include several books or selections of books, but others are just a single title, like the Communist Manifesto, or Gulliver's Travels.)

May 4, 2011, 6:04am

I am working on that. Please give me a chance to complete the work.

May 4, 2011, 10:17am

What does whether or not you're done creating the series have to do with whether or not the works are abridged? Does it take you any longer to say "yes, they're abridged" or "no, they're not" or "some are, some aren't, I'll say more later" than to say "I'm working on the series"?

May 4, 2011, 11:26am

Is that your notion of what you think my post should say? That and a cup of coffee will find it spilled down your shirt.

Edited: May 4, 2011, 11:54am

I'm confused. Anyway, I just noticed some titles on that list that I own (though not the editions listed there), so am wondering if they're the same work, what the series is, etc. I gather from wikipedia & the foundation's website that it's a series originally put out in the 40s by some people from U of Chicago, and that there are several current series they also publish. I've never seen the series, so I'm wondering if their Gulliver is any different from mine.

ETA I guess I'm also wondering, by implication, if this is a series or a publisher series?

May 4, 2011, 12:04pm

It was a series when I started.

May 4, 2011, 1:33pm

Certainly a publisher series.

May 4, 2011, 2:28pm

It might be special!

May 4, 2011, 3:46pm

Do you mean special as all in the books in this series have different content - and thus constitute different works - from the original works with which some of them share titles? Special as in so different that the works shouldn't be combined with the originals and thus that this can be a series rather than a publisher series? Is this something like the Norton Critical Editions (about which there's debate, but mostly a consensus that the extra material makes them into a different work)? Or are they abridgments? Is there something different about the Great Books edition of the Communist Manifesto or Locke's Second Treatise that makes it not combinable with the original works?

May 4, 2011, 3:53pm

Maybe it's like the Oxford Bookworms.

May 4, 2011, 3:56pm

As far as I know, the Great Books are the complete text, unchanged, without significant additions. Not like the Oxford Bookworms at all.

Edited: May 4, 2011, 3:58pm

10 - So, you're saying they're adaptations or some kind, or abridgements, or simplified for language/literacy learners? In other words, that none of them have the same contents and can be considered the same work as the original work of that title?

May 4, 2011, 4:18pm

No, I've never said anything like that.

May 4, 2011, 7:33pm

The Great Books Reading and Discussion Series look like they are a combination of some unabridged texts and selections from longer works. See Great Books for links to each series which lists the contents and indicates which works are unabridged and which are selections. There are some individual works listed - but looking at those links, it looks as though the works are bound together (the first year series is a two volume set with 15 works). I think, in terms of binding, these are probably a series - there are unlikely to be other books with these particular combinations of works.

Collectorator, I'm guessing you actually have working knowledge of these books, so I don't understand why you are being coy. How hard is it to just answer the question of the original poster?

May 4, 2011, 7:44pm

Wikipedia has a list of the original 54 volumes. Some of the books are original to the series, but others,
#4 The Iliad and the Odyssey, #13 Virgil's Works: The Aeneid, Eclogues, Georgics,#14 The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, #17 The Six Enneads, #21 The Divine Comedy, etc., clearly aren't.

May 4, 2011, 9:34pm

I'm also curious about whether the books and series have changed (in content, in order, etc.) in the various editions of this series that have come out since the 40s.

Edited: May 4, 2011, 9:49pm

15: The series we're talking about isn't the Great Books of the Western World series; that's published by Encyclopedia Britannica.

The series we're talking about here is the Great Books series put out by the Great Books Foundation. These two series seem to have been founded by some of the same people, but I don't think they're the same.

The Great Books Foundation puts out something called the Great Books Reading and Discussion Series:

I think that's what's being listed on the series page I linked in post 1.

I've never seen a book from this series, so I don't know if some of them are abridged, or what. Some do appear to contain more than one author and text, so many of those are likely distinct "works." Some, however, only contain one text, and may well be exactly the same in content as other copies of that text (hence my questions).

I also don't know if there have been multiple, different versions of this "Adult Great Books Program." For instance, the Great Books Foundation seems to have put out an edition of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil in the 1940s, published by Regnery:

Is that a completely different Great Books Foundation series from the one called the Great Books Reading and Discussion Series? Is it an earlier version of that series? If so, does it have different content and ordering? For instance, compare that Beyond Good and Evil with this book put out by the Foundation a few years later:

May 4, 2011, 10:06pm

14 I think, in terms of binding, these are probably a series - there are unlikely to be other books with these particular combinations of works.

Ok, so that may be the case for the current series, and maybe for all the Reading and Discussion series (plural). So then, are there other books put out by the Great Books Foundation which are single-text works, and which are not part of this series, and which should be combined with other copies of the same work (e.g. Communist Manifesto, Hamlet etc.)

May 4, 2011, 11:44pm

So, looking into this a bit more, it does look like there is another, older series of Great Books Foundation books that are not the same as the editions put out under the Great Books Reading and Discussion Series.

Here, for instance is Great Books Year 2 Volume 3, which contains (selections from?) Plato's Meno, Aristotle's Ethics, and Lucretius's Nature of Things, from 1955:
According to WorldCat's bibliographic data, this has 44 + 58 + 132 p. = 234 pages total.

Here, on the other hand, is an edition of Plato's Meno (complete or abridged, I don't know), also put out by the Great Books Foundation, but in 1949 by the publisher Henry Regenery Co.
It contains, according to Worldcat, 67 pages. So that definitely looks like a different work, not part of the same series. If complete, and just a single text, shouldn't that be combined with other copies of Plato's Meno put out by other publishers?

Edited: May 5, 2011, 12:19am

There seems to be some complicated publishing politics and history to do with the Great Books Foundation and series. From what I've been able to dig up, it looks like the Henry Regnery company originally published some books for the Great Books Foundation in the 1940s; these look to have been single texts, maybe shortened versions. Then either the Great Books Foundation wasn't conservative enough (per Regnery) or Regnery was too conservative for the Great Books Foundation, one or the other, and that relationship was dropped. Before or after that, I'm not sure, Encyclopedia Britannica started putting out the Great Books of the Western World Series. In the 50s, after dropping Regnery, the Great Books Foundation started publishing, themselves, the Great Books Foundation Discussion Program, with various volumes that each contain selections or complete texts from several different authors.

"The Great Books Foundation was established in 1947 by Dr. Robert M. Hutchins, then chancellor of the University of Chicago and previously the university’s president, and Mortimer Adler, at the time a professor of philosophy of law at the University of Chicago....In the early years, Henry Regnery’s publishing company published the shortened paperback editions of classics of which the Great Books reading list was composed. These works included Plato’s Republic, Sophocles’ Antigone, Marx’s Communist Manifesto, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, and dozens of other classic works....
"Because of the controversy that surrounded Regnery’s publication of William Buckley’s God and Man at Yale, Regnery lost the contract to publish the Great Books works."

May 5, 2011, 1:06am

I'm finished.

May 5, 2011, 1:46am

Ok, so are these works exclusive to the series? Are they abridged?

Are these all the same work?

Are these?

Are the editions that appear to be single-text work really single text works, and if so, are they abridged? Should they be combined with the other versions of Communist Manifesto, Social Contract, whatever?

May 5, 2011, 4:33pm

Democracy in America (selections); Communist Manifesto (Great Books Foundation First Year Course, VII)
the same as
The Great Year Books Volume 5 Macbeth / Areopagitica.
and also the same as
Areopagitica (The Great Books Foundation)
and also the same as
Communist Manifesto (Great Books Foundation)?

Or should we assume, as the titles of these editions suggest, that these are different works, and separate them out accordingly (and combine the single-text books with the proper work - assuming they're not abridged)?

Does anyone have any knowledge of the content of these books, whether they are abridged, whether despite the very different titles they're actually the same, etc?

Edited: May 12, 2011, 5:22pm

Ok, I've done some more research, and although I haven't been able to lay hands on copies, I have found images of some online.

What I've found out is that the books listed here are not all part of the same series. There were several different multi-volume series put out by this foundation in different years, each with different contents. So some of the combinations within the books currently listed here are incorrect.

The Foundation currently publishes a "5 Series" collection called the Adult Great Books Series, AKA the Great Books Reading and Discussion Series. (See publisher website with list of current series and its contents.)

In the past, they have also put out other multi-volume, multi-year-program series called Great Books - with often a different number of sets, and definitely with different contents and ordering of contents in individual volumes.

Here is an image of the contents of volume 1 & 2 of the first of 5 what they call "series" in their current Adult Great Books series:

Now, here's an image of the box set of the Great Books Course: First Year, as published in 1955:

As you can see, these are completely different sets and individual volumes from the set in current Adult Great Books set 1.

May 18, 2011, 12:45am

I've been doing some research on WorldCat and elsewhere, and I've determined that there are multiple different Adult Books Discussion Program series that the Great Books Foundation put out. Most involve multiple box sets, with multiple volumes in each box set. The contents and ordering of books and selections within the series and the box sets are not identical.

Some of these series contain individual volumes that look like single works that are complete, not abridged. That makes most of these series publisher series.

1st: Great Books Discussion Series published between 1948 and 1954. 10 "years" or courses, each multi-volume sets. Publisher Series

2nd: Great Books Readings for Discussion. 8 or 9 sets/years, each multi-volume. 1954-1962. Publisher Series. (new selections, not identical to the previous, though some overlap)

3rd: The Great books program: readings for discussion, adult series. 1966. At least 5 multi-volume sets. (again new selections/arrangements, not identical to either of previous). Probably publisher series: some volumes appear to be single texts; unclear whether abridged.

4th: The Great books reading & discussion program. 1985 and current. Several multi-volume box sets. This one is the only one that can clearly be labeled a series and not a publisher series, because all of the individual volumes are anthologies, unlikely to be published in exactly that form by other publishers.

So.... there's a lot of separating work that needs to be done, because there are numerous books with different content (and titles) combined together right now. And then some publisher series labeling.

I'm putting together a list of these 4 different series, with contents, as much as I can reconstruct them from WorldCat and other sources. I'll post that here or on a wiki page.

Anyone want to help separating and organizing? It's going to take some work.

Edited: May 18, 2011, 12:21pm

Ok, here's the info for the first publisher series (1948-1954), which consists of ten "years" or "courses," each of which have multiple volumes. Any of these need to be separated out and combined as appropriate with other editions of the same texts, and then the publisher series labeled.

Great Books Discussion Readings. 1948-54.

i) First Year Course. aka First Year Readings.
v. 1. Declaration of Independence. The Old Testament –
v. 2. Plato: Apology, Crito --
v. 3. Plato: Republic, bks. 1-2 --
v. 4. Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War --
v. 5. Aristophanes: Lysistrata, The birds, The clouds --
v. 6. Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics, bk. 1 --
v. 7. Aristotle: Politics, bk. 1 --
v. 8. Plutarch: "Lycurgus," "Numa," and "Comparison" ; "Alexander," "Caesar" --
v. 9. St. Augustine: Confessions, bks. 1-8 --
v. 10. St. Thomas Aquinas: Treatise on Law (Summa Theologica) --
v. 11. Machiavelli: The Prince --
v. 12. Montaigne: Selected essays --
v. 13. Shakespeare: Hamlet --
v. 14. Locke: Of civil government --
v. 15. Rousseau: The Social contract, bks. 1-2 --
v. 16. Federalist papers and The Federal constitution --
v. 17. Smith: The Wealth of nations, bk. 1 --
v. 18. Marx: Communist manifesto.
(one source I found said this had 16 volumes; perhaps with a couple of the ones above combined with each other?)

ii) Great Books Discussion Program, Second Year Readings
v. 1 Homer. The odyssey.--
v. 2 Herodotus. History of the Persian wars, selections.--
v. 3 Aeschylus. House of Atreus.--
v. 4 Sophocles. Oedipus the king; Antigone.--
v. 5 Aristotle. Poetics; Ethics.--
v. 6 Plato. Meno.--
v. 7 Lucretius. On the nature of things.--
v. 8 Marcus Aurelius. Meditations.--
v. 9 Hobbes. Leviathan, pt. 1.--
v. 10 Milton. Areopagitica.--
v. 11 Swift. Gulliver's travels.--
v. 12 Pascal. Thoughts, selections.--
v. 13 Rousseau. On the origin of inequality; A discourse on political economy.--
v. 14 Kant. Fundamental principles of the metaphysic of morals.--
v. 15 Nietzsche. Beyond good and evil.--
v. 16 Mill. Representative government, selections.--
v. 17 Twain. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

iii) Great Books, Third Year Readings,
v. 1. Aeschylus, Prometheus bound. Bible, Book of Job.
v. 2. Plato, Symposium.
v. 3. Aristotle, Politics, bks. III-V. On interpretation, chapters 1-10.
v. 4. Euclid, Elements of geometry, bk. I.
v. 5. Lucian, True history. Dialogues of the dead. Dialogues of the Heterae and other selected essays.
v. 6. St. Thomas Aquinas, Of the Teacher, De Veritate, Q.11.
v. 7. Song of the Volsungs and the Nibelungs.
v. 8. Calvin, Institutes of the Christian religion: Man's present state, bk. II, chapter 2, On civil government, bk. IV, chapter 20.
v. 9. Shakespeare, Macbeth.
v. 10. Milton, Paradise lost.
v. 11. Locke, An essay concerning human understanding, bk. III, chapters 1-3, 9-11.
v. 12. Voltaire, Candide.
v. 13. Lavoisier, Elements of chemistry, bk. I.
v. 14. Gibbon, The decline and fall of the Roman empire, chapters 15, 16.
v. 15. Mill, On liberty.
v. 16. Thoreau, Civil disobeience. A plea for Captain John Brown.
v. 17. Freud, The origin and development of psychoanalysis.

iv) Great books; fourth year readings. 18v, 1950
v. 1 Hippocrates, Ancient medicine.
v. 2 Plato, Republic, bks. VI-VII.
v. 3. Aristotle, Metaphysics, selections.
v. 4. Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, bk. I.
v. 5. St. Augustine, Confessions, bks. IX-XIII.
v. 6. St. Thomas, On truth and falsity. On human knowledge.
v. 7. Montaigne, Apology for Raimond de Sebonde.
v. 8. Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel, bks. I-II.
v. 9. Descartes, Discourse on method.
v. 10. Francis Bacon, Novum organum, bk. I.
v. 11. Galileo, Two new sciences, selections.
v. 12. Harvey, The motion of heart and blood.
v. 13. Hume, Enquiry concerning human understanding.
v. 14. Voltaire, Philosophical dictionary, selections.
v. 15. Darwin, The origin of species, chapters 1-6, 15.
v. 16. Dostoyevsky, The brothers Karamazov, selections.
v. 17. Mill, Utilitarianism.
v. 18. James, Pragmatism, selections.

v) Great books; fifth year readings. 1951. Regnery.
v. 1. Euripides, Medea, Trojan women, and Hippolytus.
v. 2. Plato, Parmenides and Theaetetus.
v. 3. Aristotle, Physics (Selections on space and time)
v. 4. Virgil, Aeneid.
v. 5. The little flowers of St. Francis.
v. 6. St. Thomas, On man.
v. 7. Dante, Divine comedy.
v. 8. Newton, Mathematical principles of natural philosophy (Selections)
v. 9. Berkeley, Principles of human knowledge.
v. 10. Pico Della Mirandola, On the dignity of man.
v. 11. Boswell, Wisdom of Dr. Johnson.
v. 12. Kant, Prolegomena to any future metaphysics.
v. 13. De Tocqueville, Democracy in America.
v. 14. Woolman, Journal.
v. 15. Melville, Moby Dick.
v. 16. Einstein, Relativity: the special and the general theory.

vi) The Great Books discussion program: sixth year readings. Chicago {1952}
v. 1. The Sophist, by Plato. On the sublime, by Longinus. On nature and grace and On grace and free will, by St. Augustine.-
v.2. Treatise on God (selections) by G. Vico. Critique of pure reason (selections) by I. Kant.-
v.3. The philosophy of history (selections) by G.W.F. Hegel. War and peace (epilogue) by Count L. Tolstoy.

vii) Great books; seventh year readings.
v. 1. Plato, Gorgias.
v. 2. Aristotle, Ethics, bks. VIII, IX, X.
v. 3. Cicero, De Officiis.
v. 4. Bible. New Testament: St. John; Acts of the Apostles.
v. 5. Tacitus, Histories.
v. 6. St. Augustine, City of God, pt. 1, bk. V; pt. 2, bk. XIX.
v. 7. Boethius, Consolation of philosophy.
v. 8. St. Thomas Aquinas, Introduction to St. Thomas, Summa contra gentiles, bk. III.
v. 9. Dante De Monarchia.
v. 10. Luther, Three treatises.
v. 11. Shakespeare, King Lear.
v. 12. Spinoza, Ethics.
v. 13. Milton, Samson Agonistes.
v. 14. Moliere, Plays.
v. 15. Kant, Perpetual peace.
v. 16. Goethe, Faust.
v. 17. Shaw, Plays, pt. 1, Androcles and the lion; pt. 2, Arms and the man.
v. 18. Tawney, Religion and the rise of capitalism.

viii) Great books; eighth year readings. {1954}
v. 1. Sophocles, Ajax and Electra.-
v. 2. Plato, Phaedo, in The last days of Socrates.-
v. 3. Aristotle, On the soul, in Introduction to Aristotle.-
v. 4. Horace, The art of poetry, in Complete works.-
v. 5. Aupleius, The golden ass.-
v. 6. Bhagavad-Gita, The song of God: Bhagavad-Gita.-
v. 7. Cellini, Autobiography.-
v. 8. Locke, On toleration.-
v. 9. Racine, Phaedra, in Six plays by Corneille and Racine.-
v. 10. Fielding, Tom Jones.-
v. 11. Kant, Critique of Esthetic judgment, in The philosophy of Kant.-
v. 12. Coleridge, Biographia literaria, Kubla Khan, Christabel, Rime of the ancient mariner, in Selected poetry and prose.-
v. 13. Kierkegaard, Fear and trembling, The sickness unto death.-
v. 14. Flaubert, Madame Bovary.-
v. 15. James, Psychology.-
v. 16. Joyce, Portrait of the artist as a young man.-
v. 17. Freud, General introduction to psychoanalysis.

ix) Great books; ninth year readings. {1954?}
v. 1. Plato, Republic, bks. II-IV, VIII-X.
v. 2. Aristotle, Politics, bks. VII-VIII.
v. 3. Confucius, Analects.-
v. 4. Aquinas, On Kingship, in The Political ideas of St. Thomas Aquinas.-
v. 5. Á Kempis, Imitation of Christ.-
v. 6. Machiavelli, Discourses, in The prince and the discourses.-
v. 7. Hobbes, Leviathan, book II in Leviathan, complete.-
v. 8. Sterne, Tristram Shandy.-
v. 9. Montesquieu, The spirit of the laws, bks. I-V, VIII, XI-XII.-
v. 10. Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution.-
v. 11. Hegel, Philosophy of right, pt. III, in The philosophy of Hegel.-
v. 12. Balzac, Old Goriot.-
v. 13. Marx, Capital, selections.-
v. 14. Dostoyevsky, The devils (The possessed).-
v. 15. Adams, Henry, The education of Henry Adams.

x) Great books; tenth year readings. {1954}
v. 1. Hesiod, Theogony.-
v. 2. Plato, Timaeus.-
v. 3. Aristotle, Physics, book II, in Introduction to Aristotle.-
v. 4. Lucretius, Nature of the universe.-
v. 5. Laotse, The wisdom of Laotse.-
v. 6. St. Bonaventura, The mind's road to God.-
v. 7. Bacon, Advancement of learning.-
v. 8. Browne, Religio Medici, in Consolation of philosophy.-
v. 9. Hume, Dialogues concerning natural religion.-
v. 10. Rousseau, Confessions.-
v. 11. Darwin, Descent of man in The origin of species and Descent of man.-
v. 12. Ibsen, Hedda Gabler, The wild duck, The pillars of the community.-
v. 13. Nietzsche, The birth of tragedy in The philosophy of Nietzsche.-
v. 14. James, Daisy Miller, Aspern papers, Beast in the jungle, Art of fiction, in Henry James: Selected fiction.-
v. 15. Whitehead, Science and the modern world.-
v. 16. Bergson, The two sources of morality and religion.

Edited: May 18, 2011, 11:15pm

And here's the info from the second of these publisher series:
Great Books Readings for Discussion -- published in 8 or 9 sets/years, 1954-1962. Possibly reprinted later also. Sometimes known as the Adult Great Books Program. These too need to be separated out, single work volumes combined as appropriate with other editions of the same work (if not abridged), and publisher series labeled.

i) Readings for discussion : 1st- year course. 1954. 9 volumes:
v. 1. The Declaration of Independence. Apology : Socrates on trial; Crito : Socrates in prison. By Plato. Antigone, by Sophocles.
v. 2. Politics (book 1) by Aristotle Lives : Lycurgus & Numa (with a comparison) by Plutarch.
v. 3. The Gospel according to St. Matthew, King James version. Discourses ( from books 1 and 2 ) by Epictetus.
v. 4. The prince, by N. Machiavelli.
v. 5. Macbeth, by W. Shakespeare. Areopagitica, by J. Milton.
v. 6. The wealth of nations (from book 1 and 4) by A. Smith. The Federalist (selections) The Constitution of the United States.
v. 7. Democracy in America (from part 2) by Tocqueville Communist manifesto, by Marx and Engels.
v. 8. Civil disobedience, Walden (selections) by Thoreau. The death of Ivan Ilych, by L. Tolstoy.
v. 9. A Great Books primer.

ii) Readings for discussion: second year course. 1955. 11 volumes.
v. 1. Ecclesiastes. Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, by Sophocles.
v. 2. The Odyssey, by Homer.
v. 3. Meno, by Plato. Ethics (selections) by Aristotle. Of the nature of things (books 1-3) by Lucretius.
v. 4. Confessions (books 1-7) by St. Augustine.
v. 5. Hamlet, by Shakespeare.
v. 6. Discourse on method, by Descartes. Leviathan (selections) by Hobbes. Pensées (selections) by Pascal.
v. 7. Gulliver's travels, by Swift.
v. 8. On the origin of inequality, by Rousseau. Perpetual peace, by Kant.
v. 9. On liberty, by Mill.
v. 10. The adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by M. Twain.
v. 11 A great books reader

iii) Readings for discussion: third year course. 1955
v. 1. The Book of Job. The Oresteia: Agamemnon, Choephoroe, Eumenides, by Aeschylus.-
v. 2. History of the Peloponnesian War (selections) by Thucydides. Symposium, by Plato.-
v. 3. Politics (books 3-5) by Aristotle. Treatise on law, by St. Thomas Aquinas.-
v. 4. Gargantua & Pantagruel (book 1) by Rabelais.-
v. 5. Institutes of the Christian religion (selections) by Calvin. King Lear, by Shakespeare.-
v. 6. Novum organum (book 1) by Bacon Of civil government, by Locke.-
v. 7. Candide, by Voltaire. The social contract (books 1-2) by Rousseau.-
v. 8. The decline and fall of the Roman Empire (chapters 15-16) by Gibbon.-
v. 9. The brothers Karamasov (selections) by Dostoyevsky. The origin & development of psychoanalysis, by Freud.-
v. 10. Great books reader II.

iv) Readings for discussion: fourth year course. 1956
v. 1 The analects (selections) by Confucius. The Republic (books 6-7) by Plato.-
v. 2 Lysistrats, The clouds, by Aristophacles, Poetics, by Aristotle. Elements of geometry (book 1) by Euclid.-
v. 3. Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius. Outlines of Pyrrhonism (book 1) by Sextus Empiricus.-
v. 4. The song of the Volsungs and the Nibelungs. On truth and falsity, by St. Thomas Aquinas.-
v. 5. Essays (selections) by Montaigne. The tempest, by Shakespeare-
v. 6. An essay concerning human understanding (selections) by Locke. An enquiry concerning human understanding, by Huma.-
v. 7. Paradise lost, by Milton.-
v. 8. Beyond good and evil (selections) by Nistrache. pragmatism (selections) by W. James.

v) Readings for discussion: fifth year course. 1956
v. 1 Medea, Hippolytus, The Trojan women, by Euripides. Thoactetus, by plato. Physics, book 4 (selections) by Aristotle.-
v. 2. The Aeneid, by Virgil.-
v. 3. The little flowers, by St. Francis of Assisi. On man, by St. Thomas Aquinas.-
v. 4. The Divine comedy, by Dante.-
v. 5. The dignity of man, by Pice Della Mirandola. Principles of human knowledge, by Berkley. Mathematical principles (selections) by Newton.-
v. 6. Life of Johnson (selections) by Reswell, Prologomona, by Kant.-
v. 7. Journal, by Woolman. Relativity, by Einstein.-
v. 8. Moby Dick, by Melville.

vi) Readings for discussion: sixth year course. 1957
v.1. Prometheus bound, by Aeschylus. Phaedrus, by Plato. Metaphysics (book 12) by Aristotle.-
v.2. On the sublime, by Longinus. On nature and grace. On grace and free will, by St. Augustine. The existence and simplicity of God, by St. Thomas Aquinas.-
v.3. Canterbury tales (selections) by Chaucer. Richard II, by Shakespeare.-
v.4. Don Quixote (pt.1) by Cervantes.-
v.5. Ethics (pt.1) by Spinoza. Dialogues concerning natural religion, by Hume.-
v.6. Philosophical dictionary (selections) by Voltaire. Philosophy of history (introduction) by Hegel.-
v.7. The origin of species (chapters 1-6, 15) by Darwin.-
v.8. Billy Budd, by Melville. The turn of the screw, by H. James.

vii) Readings for discussion: seventh year course. 1959
v. 1. Plato. Gorgias. Aristotle. On the soul.
v. 2. Bhagavad-Gita. Boethius. The consolation of philosophy.
v. 3. Maimonides. The guide for the perplexed, selections. Donne. Holy sonnets.
v. 4. Moliere. Tartuffe; the misanthrope. Leibniz. Discourse on metaphysics.
v. 5. Kant. Fundamental principles of the metaphysics of morals. Goethe. Faust, pt.I.
v. 6. Schopenhauer. The world as will and idea, selections. Kierkegaard. Concluding unscientific postscript, selections.
v. 7. Dostoyevsky. Notes from underground. Conrad. Heart of darkness.
v. 8. Freud. The interpretation of dreams, chapter VII. Shaw. Man and superman.

viii) Readings for discussion : eighth year course. 1960
v. 1 Aristophanes: The birds; Peace. Plato: Phaedo.
v. 2. Aristotle: Physics, book II. St. Paul: Epistle to the Romans. First epistle to the Corinthians. Galen: On the natural faculties, books I and II.
v. 3. Shakespeare: Henry the Fourth, pt. 1, pt. 2.
v. 4. Harvey: 0n the motion of the heart and blood. Descartes: The passions of the soul.
v. 5. Milton: Samson Agonistes. Fichte: The vocation of man.
v. 6. Byron: Don Juan, cantos I-IV.-
v. 7. Mill: Utilitarianism. Nietzche: The genealogy of morals.
v. 8. Adams: The education of Henry Adams, chapters 23-35. Yeats: Fourteen poems.

ix) Readings for discussion : ninth year course. ?? 1962
contents unknown. One source lists contents same as for 8th year above. Could be a typo in title, or in contents.
I think I've found the details for this year:

vol. 1. (no. 1) : The Iliad / Homer

vol. 2 (no. 2-4). The history : Books VIII, IX / Herodotus. Sophist / Plato. Posterior analytics : Book II / Aristotle.

vol. 3 (no. 5-6). The annals : Books III, IV / Tacitus. The fifth ennead / Plotinus.

vol. 4 (no. 7 & 8). A commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians : selections / Luther. Dialogues concerning two new sciences : selections / Galileo.

vol. 5 (no. 9 & 10). Phaedra / Racine. The new science : selections / Vico
Racine, Jean, 1639-1699.

vol. 6 (no. 11). Père Goriot / Balzac

vol. 7 (no. 12 & 13). Capital : selections / Marx. The wild duck / Ibsen.

vol.8 (no. 14-16). The principles of psychology : Chapters XXI, XXII / William James. Flowers of evil : selections / Baudelaire. Science and hypothesis : Chapters IV, V, IX / Poincaré.

May 18, 2011, 2:16am

Here's the info on the third publisher series:
Great books program: readings for discussion, adult series. At least 5 sets. Published in 1966.
A few volumes appear to be single-work volumes, which would need to be combined with other versions of the same work, if these aren't abridged versions.

The Great books program: readings for discussion, adult series. 1966

i) The Great books program: readings for discussion, adult series, set one.
v. l. The Declaration of Independence. Antigone, by Sophocles. Apology; Crito, by Plato. Civil disobedience; Walden, by Thoreau.
v. 2. The ruler, by Machiavelli. Pompey, by Plutarch.
v. 3. Macbeth, by Shakespeare. Of civil government, by Locke.
v. 4. Politics, by Aristotle. The Federalist Papers; The wealth of nations, by Adam Smith.
v. 5. The Communist Manifesto, by Marx & Engels. Democracy in America, by Tocqueville.
v. 6. The Gospel of Matthew. The death of Iran Ilych, by Tolstoy. Dubliners, by Joyce.

ii) Great Books Adult Series. Set two.
v. 1. Melville : Billy Budd. Foretopman. Plato : Euthyphro. Sophocles : Oedipus Rex. Oedipus at Colonus.
v. 2. Aristotle : Ethics. St. Augustine : Confessions.
v. 3. Shakespeare : Hamlet. Freud : A general introduction to psychoanalysis. Racine : Phaedra.
v. 4. Homer : The odyssey.
v. 5. Descartes : Discourse on method. Hobbes : Leviathan.
v. 6. Pascal : Pensées. Mill : On liberty.
v. 7. Swift : Gullivers̕ travels. Poincaré : The value of science. Gogol : The overcoat.

iii) The Great books program: readings for discussion, adult series, set three. 1966
1. Freud: Civilization and its discontents. Dostoyevsky: Notes from underground.-
2. Mann: Death in Venice. Aeschylus: Oresteia.
3.- Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War.
4.- Aristophanes: Peace; The birds. Aquinas: Treatise on law.
5.- Rousseau: The social contract. Kant: Perpetual peace. Voltaire: Candide.
6. -Aristotle: Poetics. Shakespeare: King Lear.
7.- The Book of Job. Gibbon: The decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
8.- Nietzsche: Twilight of the idols. Shaw: Heartbreak House.

iv) The Great books adult series : set 4 1966
v. 1. Chekhov : The three sisters. The cherry orchard.
v. 2. Veblen : The theory of the leisure class. Montaigne : Essays.
v. 3. Mill : The autobiography of John Stuart Mill. James : The pupil. The beast in the jungle.
v. 4. Adams : The education of Henry Adams. Molière : The misanthrope. Tartuffe.
v. 5. Berkeley : The first dialogue between Hylas and Philonous. Diderot : Rameaus̕ nephew. Plato : The republic.
v. 6. Hume : An enquiry concerning human understanding. Calderón : Life is a dream. Bernard : An introduction to the study of experimental medicine.
v. 7. Vergil : The aeneid.
v. 8. St. Paul : First letter to Corinth. Letter to Rome. Conrad : Heart of darkness.

v) The great books adult series: readings for discussion, set five.
v. 1. The wild duck, by Ibsen. The manual, by Epictetus. The Canterbury tales, by Chaucer.
v. 2. The inferno, by Dante.
v. 3. Medea; Hippolytus, by Euripides. Time and free will, by Bergson.
v. 4. Faust, by Goeth. Psychology: briefer course, by William James. On the improvement of the understanding by Spinoza.
v. 5. Symposium, by Plato. Works of love, by Kierkegaard.
v. 6. The decameron, by Boccaccio. Foundations of the metaphysics of morals, by Kant.
v. 7. The book of Genesis. The origin of species, by Darwin. Fathers and sons, by Turgenev.

Edited: May 18, 2011, 2:29am

And finally, here's the current series, which does actually look like a series, and not a publisher series. This one was originally published in 1985, and as far as I can tell corresponds with what the Foundation currently sells: The contents are also mostly selections from rather than complete works; the publisher's website indicates which ones are complete.

This series seems to be what the series listing in the OP is for, based on the canonical titles given. So, it's just a matter of separating out works from the other series from the ones here, so that this series listing only contains works within the current series.

The Great books reading & discussion program.
I. First series:
vol. 1. Contents: Rothschild's fiddle / Anton Chekhov; On happiness / Aristotle; Apology / Plato; Heart of darkness / Joseph Conrad; Conscience / Immanuel Kant; Alienated labour / Karl Marx; Genesis / Bible; Civilization and its discontents / Sigmund Freud; Social contract / Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
vol. 2. Contents: Moral sense of man and the lower animals / Charles Darwin; Othello / William Shakespeare; Of justice and injustice / David Hume; Power of the majority / Alexis de Tocqueville; Individual freedom / Georg Simmel; Antigone / Sophocles.

II. second series,
vol. 1 Contents: Crito / Plato; Virtues / John Dewey; Iphigeneia at Aulis / Euripides; Politics / Aristotle; Notes from the underground / Fyodor Dostoevsky.
vol. 2. Contents: Origin of Government / Thomas Hobbes; Billy Budd, sailor / Herman Melville; Wealth of nations / Adam Smith; Antony and Cleopatra / William Shakespeare; Knight of faith / Soren Kierkegaard.
vol. 3. Contents: Persian Wars / Herodotus; Of civil government / John Locke; Gulliver's travels / Jonathan Swift; Civil disobedience / Henry David Thoreau.

III. Third Series.
vol. 1 Habits and will. On liberty. Hamlet. Ths Gospel of Mark. History of the Peloponnesian War.
vol. 2 What is war? Uncle Vanya. On evil. The Iliad. Principles of government.
vol. 3 The Canterbury tales. Agamemnon. The Beast in the jungle. The Prince. The Death of Ivan Ilych.

IV. Fourth Series
v. 1: The Indestructibility of Our Inner Nature. Medea. The Spirit of Capitalism. The Misanthrope. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
v. 2: Job. Utilitarianism. Caesar and Cleopatra. The City of God. Symposium.
v. 3: Of Experience. Rameau's Nephew. The Tempest. The Federalist. The Overcoat.

V. Fifth Series
v. 1 Ecclesiastes. Oedipus the King. On dreams. The Metamorphosis. Faust, Part one.
v. 2 Contents: First principles of morals / Immanuel Kant; Simple heart / Gustave Flaubert; Of personal identity / David Hume; Thus spoke Zarathustra / Friedrich Nietzsche;
Inferno / Dante Alighieri.
v. 3 Contents: Reflections on the revolution in France / Edmund Burke; Education of Henry Adams / Henry Adams; King Lear / William Shakespeare; On tragedy / Aristotle; Republic / Plato.

May 18, 2011, 2:31am

It's also possible there were other "Great Books Discussion" series put out by this organization in other years, besides these. More research may be needed.

May 18, 2011, 12:01pm

I'd be happy to help - do you have an idea for organization? Should there be a different series for each set? You mentioned that some should just be publisher series. Do you have a proposal for labeling?

May 18, 2011, 12:16pm

I got started on it a little bit last night. Here are the names of the publisher series that I started, mostly just to match the titles on some of the copies.

It might be better to do something more consistent across the three? I'm not committed to these names:

Great Books Discussion Readings, 1948-54 version (1.8)

Great Books Readings for Discussion, 1954-1962 version (1.2)

Adult Great Books Series, 1966 version (1.2)

1.2, 1.8 etc. refer to the set/year/course then the volume number. There may be omnibus editions too, where people have just cataloged the box set for the year as a single work.

Last night, I separated out what I could from the 1.1 and 1.2 on the page. I think I got all the ones that belong to other series. I've noticed that the ones with ISBNs tend to be from the 1985/current series. I'm leaving those in, since they're the ones that are actually a series.

It's pretty slow and painstaking work. Often there are other copies of the same things on LT that the volumes need to be combined with. Different copies of the same volume also often have different authors, so it's best to use that URL combining trick if you know it. Anyway, I found it was working best just to go systematically through the volumes in the series on the OP, figure out which works have been mistakenly combined, then separate them out one by one, and combine editions of the same work together.

May 18, 2011, 12:25pm

One more finding:

The current/1985 series has some books called "reader aids" that accompany each of the sets. These have apparently been combined into the omnibus entries, inexplicably. These are separate books, and should be separated out and given their own entry within the series somehow.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think the 1985 series is the only one to have "reader aids" -- at least as far as I can tell from Worldcat.

May 18, 2011, 3:02pm

Should there be a different series for each set?

I missed this question. I think it'd be fine to have each version as a series, and simply indicate the sets by number:
1.3 etc.
2.3 etc.

So the first number is for the set/year/course, and the second one is for the individual volume.
Complete box sets can just have the numbers 1, 2, etc.

Jun 22, 2011, 10:34pm

Ok, done, I think. I separated out all the wrongly combined things, and re-combined with the proper works, as necessary, and then created those other publisher series, as indicated above. There may still be some strays out there, but the basic framework is there.

Jul 22, 2011, 4:54pm

I have a copy of the 1949 box set if anyone is interested. I just found them and don't know a whole lot about them.

Oct 13, 2018, 3:34pm

I know this is an old thread but I just found a box set of what appears to be the First Year Course. aka First Year Readings (based on this threads info.). I believe it was my grandmothers. The books are plain brown paper soft covers, they look very old but are in good condition. I'm curious if they are or would be considered collectable? I'm not sure what to do with them.

Oct 13, 2018, 6:35pm

Read them!

Oct 13, 2018, 7:51pm

>37 Enjoi06: Collectible is a tricky question. Merely being old, or even rare, doesn't matter until or unless someone is willing to collect them. Your best bet is to search Amazon or eBay the Web in general to see if there appears to be any demand. Be careful about Amazon, though. Many sellers use a program which changes the prices on items based on how many are listed on Amazon (rarity) and how much other sellers are asking for them. Thus you wind up with rather ordinary books listed for $100 and up simply because there aren't many for sale, not because that many people are looking to buy them.

You can also call or email a used bookseller asking if there is any demand for them. Not one of those paperback book exchanges, someplace that sells rare books.