A Plan of Graded Reading (PGR)

Note: Links have been added to each entry with a Listing. The four "Label" links below will show you the Listings of any author included in that particular Part of the Plan.

Volume 1 of the
Gateway to the Great Books

This plan appears in the appendix of the first volume of the Gateway to the Great Books, and volume references are to that set. Frankly, I think the readings would be pretty tough for even the best students at the grade-levels indicated (but lordy! would I love to teach in a school like that!)

Clicking on the link allows you to skip to each part. The Labels will take you to all Listings labeled for each Part.
  • Part I (grades 7 and 8, or age 12-14) "consist mainly of stories, biographies, autobiographies, and short historical accounts. The list, however, does include at least one selection from each volume in the Gateway set." (Label)
  • Part II (grades 9 and 10, age 14-16) is the longest list, and adds more nonfiction to the mix. (Label)
  • In Part III (grades 11 and 12, or ages 16-18), the "selections … tend to be longer and somewhat more difficult." Most of the readings are from Volumes 5-10--that is, there's much less fiction. (Label)
  • Part IV (college freshmen and sophomores, ages 18-20) focuses on Volumes 8 and 9 ("Natural Science and Mathematics"). (Label)
If you read these lists, they say, you well have read most of the Gateway. Then, of course, all that's left is the 54 volumes of the Great Books of the Western World!

For your convenience the ten volumes' titles are repeated here (Volume 1 is introductory):
  • Volumes 2-4: Imaginative Literature
  • Volume 5: Critical Essays
  • Volumes 6 & 7: Humanity And Society
  • Volume 8: Natural Science
  • Volume 9: Mathematics
  • Volume 10: Philosophical Essays

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PART I: Suggested Readings for the 7th and 8th Grades

VOLUME 2: Imaginative Literature I
  • Defoe: Robinson Crusoe
  • Hemingway: The Killers
  • Hugo: "The Battle with the Cannon"
  • Kipling: Mowgli's Brothers
  • Maupassant: Two Friends
  • Poe: The Tell-Tale Heart; The Masque of the Red Death
  • Scott: The Two Drovers
  • Stevenson: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Twain: The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg
  • Wilde: The Happy Prince
VOLUME 3: Imaginative Literature II
VOLUME 4: Imaginative Literature III
  • Molière: The Doctor in Spite of Himself
  • Shaw: The Man of Destiny
VOLUME 5: Critical Essays
  • Hazlitt: Of Persons One Would Wish to Have Seen
  • Lamb: My First Play; Dream Children, a Reverie
  • Woolf: How Should One Read a Book?
VOLUME 6: Humanity And Society I
VOLUME 7: Humanity And Society II
VOLUME 8: Natural Science
VOLUME 9: Mathematics
  • Dantzig: Fingerprints; The Empty Column
  • Hogben: Mathematics, the Mirror of Civilization
  • Kasner and Newman: New Names for Old; Beyond the Googol
VOLUME 10: Philosophical Essays
  • Erskine: The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent

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PART II: Suggested Readings for the 9th and 10th Grades

VOLUME 2: Imaginative Literature I
VOLUME 3: Imaginative Literature II
VOLUME 4: Imaginative Literature III
VOLUME 5: Critical Essays
  • Arnold: The Study of Poetry; Sweetness and Light
  • Bacon: Of Beauty; Of Discourse; Of Studies
  • De Quincey: Literature of Knowledge and Literature of Power; On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth
  • Hazlitt: My First Acquaintance with Poets
  • Lamb: Sanity of True Genius
  • Sainte-Beuve: What Is a Classic?
  • Schopenhauer: On Some Forms of Literature
  • Whitman: Preface to Leaves of Grass
VOLUME 6: Humanity And Society I
  • Adams: "The United States in 1800"
  • Carlyle: The Hero as King
  • Charter of the United Nations
  • Emerson: Thoreau
  • Franklin: A Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge among the British Plantations in America; Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania
  • Jefferson: "The Virginia Constitution"; First Inaugural Address
  • La Bruyère: Characters
  • Lincoln: Address at Cooper Institute; First Inaugural Address; Meditation on the Divine Will
  • Long: The Power within Us
  • Lucian: The Way to Write History
  • Mill, J. S.: "Childhood and Youth"
  • Tacitus: The Life of Gnaeus Julius Agricola
  • Thoreau: A Plea for Captain John Brown
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Washington: Circular Letter to the Governors of All the States on Disbanding the Army; Farewell Address
  • Woolf: The Art of Biography
  • Xenophon: "The Character of Socrates"
VOLUME 7: Humanity and Society II
  • Bacon: Of Youth and Age; Of Parents and Children; Of Marriage and Single Life; Of Great Place; Of Seditions and Troubles; Of Custom and Education; Of Followers and Friends; Of Usury; Of Riches
  • Burke: Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol
  • Clausewitz: What Is War?
  • Faraday: Observations on Mental Education
  • James, W.: The Energies of Men; Great Men and Their Environment
  • Plutarch: Of Bashfulness
  • Schopenhauer: On Education
  • Swift: Resolutions When I Come to Be Old; An Essay on Modern Education; A Meditation Upon a Broomstick; A Modest Proposal
VOLUME 8: Natural Science
VOLUME 9: Mathematics
VOLUME 10: Philosophical Essays
  • Bacon: Of Truth; Of Death; Of Adversity; Of Love; Of Friendship; Of Anger
  • Cicero: On Friendship; On Old Age
  • Emerson: Self-Reliance
  • Epictetus: The Enchiridion
  • Hazlitt: On the Feeling of Immortality in Youth
  • Pater: "The Art of Life"

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PART III: Suggested Readings for the 11th and 12th Grades

VOLUME 3: Imaginative Literature II
VOLUME 5: Critical Essays
VOLUME 6: Humanity And Society I
VOLUME 7: Humanity And Society II
  • Calhoun: "The Concurrent Majority"
  • Hume: Of Refinement in the Arts; Of Money; Of the Balance of Trade; Of Taxes
  • James, W.: On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings
  • Macaulay: Machiavelli
  • Malthus: "The Principle of Population"
  • Rousseau: A Lasting Peace through the Federation of Europe
  • Ruskin: An Idealist's Arraignment of the Age
  • Voltaire: "English Men and Ideas"
VOLUME 8: Natural Science
  • Campanella: "Arguments for and against Galileo"
  • Einstein and Infeld: "The Rise and Decline of Classical Physics"
  • Galton: "The Classification of Human Ability"
  • Helmholtz: On the Conservation of Force
  • Huxley: On the Relations of Man to the Lower Animals
  • Lyell: "Geological Evolution"
  • Wöhler: On the Artificial Production of Urea
VOLUME 9: Mathematics
  • Campbell: Measurement; Numerical Laws and the Use of Mathematics in Science
  • Euler: The Seven Bridges of Königsberg
  • Laplace: "Probability"
  • Poincaré: Chance
  • Russell: The Study of Mathematics
VOLUME 10: Philosophical Essays

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PART IV: Suggested Readings for College Freshmen and Sophomores

VOLUME 5: Critical Essays
VOLUME 7: Humanity And Society II
  • Dante: "On World Government"
  • Kant: Perpetual Peace
VOLUME 8: Natural Science
  • Bernard: Experimental Considerations Common to Living Things and Inorganic Bodies
  • Mendeleev: "The Genesis of a Law of Nature"
  • Pavlov: Scientific Study of the So-Called Psychical Processes in the Higher Animals
VOLUME 9: Mathematics
  • Clifford: The Postulates of the Science of Space
  • Peirce: The Red and the Black
  • Poincaré: Space
  • Russell: Definition of Number; Mathematics and the Metaphysicians
VOLUME 10: Philosophical Essays

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