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The Lifetime Reading Plan by Clifton Fadiman
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The Lifetime Reading Plan

by Clifton Fadiman

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Pretty good list, though there are some omissions, like Emily Dickinson and Ezra Pound. ( )
  stormville | Dec 30, 2013 |
I have read this several times and revisit it for direction often. If you take self-education and the Western Canon of book seriously, you shouldn't miss this book. ( )
  nmaloney | Jun 13, 2006 |
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For Mortimer J. Adler, who first taught me, and has never ceased teaching me, how to listen to the Great Conversation
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This book was merely completed by me. It was started by William Nichols, the editor-in-chief and publisher of This Week Magazine. Some time ago he asked me to prepare a list of books that might be of use to his readers. He laid down no condition other than that the books be of more than transient interest and value. The list, appearing under his title, The Lifetime Reading Plan, was printed in the April 12, 1959 issue. It was a traditional one, consisting largely of those works of Western thought and imagination generally considered of prime importance and excellence. It started with Homer and came down to our day.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060961740, Paperback)

In print for almost 40 years, The Lifetime Reading Plan has long been a worthy addition to any serious reader's bookshelf, providing entertaining and informative introductions to the great works of Western civilization. Now, this "classic about classics" has been updated to reflect more diverse traditions. The New Lifetime Reading Plan recommends great literature from around the globe, including writers and works from Confucius to Chinua Achebe, Gabriel García Márquez to the Koran. Also new is an appendix profiling books by 100 important 20th-century authors--or "temporary classics," as coauthor John S. Major calls them.

Readers may argue with some of the selections (or, more likely, the omissions). Others may quarrel with the editors' opinions; they routinely analyze artists' "characters,"with occasionally prissy or patronizing results. (Of Walt Whitman, for instance, coauthor Clifton Fadiman declares that "He had an original temperament, a certain peasant shrewdness, but only a moderate amount of brains.") But no one can argue with the book's mission: promoting the classics as "life companions." "Once part of you, they work in and on and with you until you die," Fadiman writes in the introduction. Anyone seeking a guide to the vast riches of world literature need look no further than the The New Lifetime Reading Plan; it provides a gateway to the greatest achievements of the human mind.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:16 -0400)

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