A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books

A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books - Alex Beam Although I imagined this to be a consideration of the canon in a general sense, it's actually the story behind the Great Books of the Western World collection, 54 volumes developed by a panel at the University of Chicago in the '40s.

The behind-the-scenes chatter about what should be included/excluded was my favourite part, although I think I'd've enjoyed it even more if the set had been a presence in my own life. (Or, for that matter, if I'd read more of the series' selections, as I've only read Machiavelli's The Prince, Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Montaigne's Essays, Sterne's Tristram Shandy and Tolstoy's War and Peace, and portions of other sections but not, for instance, the entirety of Shakespeare's oeuvre.)