Concept

Great Books of the Western World

Résumé
Great Books of the Western World is a series of books originally published in the United States in 1952, by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., to present the great books in 54 volumes. The original editors had three criteria for including a book in the series drawn from Western Civilization: the book must be relevant to contemporary matters, and not only important in its historical context; it must be rewarding to re-read repeatedly with respect to liberal education; and it must be a part of "the great conversation about the great ideas", relevant to at least 25 of the 102 "Great Ideas" as identified by the editor of the series's comprehensive index, the Syntopicon, to which they belonged. The books were chosen not on the basis of ethnic and cultural inclusiveness (historical influence being seen as sufficient for inclusion), nor on whether the editors agreed with the authors' views. A second edition was published in 1990, in 60 volumes. Some translations were updated; some works were
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