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Online Great Books Podcast

Oct 29, 2020

This week, Scott and Karl read a novella by Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Published in Russian as Smert Ivana Ilycha in 1886, this short story remains one of Tolstoy's most celebrated pieces of late fiction.

As Scott puts it, "This is the smallest chunk of Tolstoy that could be had." 

The story provides an...

Oct 22, 2020

This week, Scott and Karl read Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener, one of America’s most beloved storytellers. 

As the author of more than forty books of fiction and nonfiction, the majority of Michener's novels were lengthy family sagas covering the lives of many generations in particular geographic...

Oct 15, 2020

Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage has played a significant role in shaping the popular Western genre.

First published in 1912, this novel is often referred to as "the most popular western novel of all time." But as Karl points out, "We've made Westerns for much longer than when there was a Wild West." 

Set in...

Oct 8, 2020

This week, Scott and Karl read Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C. S. Forester. Published in 1950, this novel is considered the first episode in the 11 volume set about the career of the young British Naval officer, Horatio Hornblower. 

Hornblower commences his career in the Royal Navy as an inexperienced midshipman in...

Oct 1, 2020

This week, Scott and Karl read selections from Johann Gottlieb Fichte's Addresses to the German Nation. They focus on the Second Address, “The General Nature of the New Education,” and the Third Address, "Description of the New Education."

As a series of polemical speeches delivered during 1807-8, Fichte detailed...