Gateway to the Great Books (GGB)

Note: Links have been added to each entry with a Listing.This label will show you the Listings of any author included in the Gateway.


The Gateway to the Great Books was intended both as an introduction to the ideas and authors of the much-larger Great Books of the Western World, and as a source for younger readers, or those with less-developed reading skills.

But for most of us, it's just a handier way to "get at" The Great Books.

Here is the complete table of contents, and while I won't tell you where, I will tell you that the entire 10 volumes can be found in a single downloadable PDF online, absolutely free. And probably illegally. Good hunting! (Meanwhile, almost all of the materials can be found separately online at places like Project Gutenberg and

Volume 1 contains introductory material, a "Syntopical guide," and "A plan of graded reading" (see below).

Volume 2: Imaginative Literature I

Volume 3: Imaginative Literature II

Volume 4: Imaginative Literature III

Volume 5: Critical Essays

Volume 6: Man and Society I
  • John Stuart Mill: "Childhood and Youth" from Autobiography
  • Mark Twain: "Learning the River" from Life on the Mississippi
  • Jean de la Bruyere: "Characters" from A Book of Characters
  • Thomas Carlyle: 'The Hero as King" from On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Thoreau"
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne: "Sketch of Abraham Lincoln"
  • Walt Whitman: "Death of Abraham Lincoln"
  • Virginia Woolf: "The Art of Biography"
  • Xenophon: "The March to the Sea" from The Persian Expedition; "The Character of Socrates" from Memorabilia
  • William H. Prescott: "The Land of Montezuma" from The Conquest of Mexico
  • Haniel Long: "The Power within Us"
  • Pliny the Younger: "The Eruption of Vesuvius"
  • Tacitus: "The Life of Gnaeus Julius Agricola"
  • Francois Guizot: "Civilization" from History of Civilization in Europe
  • Henry Adams: "The United States in 1800" from History of the United States of America
  • John Bagnell Bury: "Herodotus" from The Ancient Greek Historians
  • Lucian: "The Way to Write History"
  • Great Documents: The English Bill of Rights, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, The Virginia Declaration of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, Charter of the United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Thomas Paine: "A Call to Patriots – December 23, 1776"
  • George Washington: "Circular Letter to the Governors of All the States on Disbanding the Army"; "The Farewell Address"
  • Thomas Jefferson: "The Virginia Constitution" from Notes on the State of Virginia
  • Benjamin Franklin: "A Proposal for Promoting Useful Knowledge among the British Plantations in America"; "Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania"
  • Jean de Crevecoeur: "The Making of Americans" from Letters from an American Farmer
  • Alexis de Tocqueville: "Observations on American Life and Government" from Democracy in America
  • Henry David Thoreau: "Civil Disobedience"; "A Plea for Captain John Brown"
  • Abraham Lincoln: "Address at Cooper Institute"; "First Inaugural Address"; "Letter to Horace Greeley"; "Meditation on the Divine Will"; "The Gettysburg Address"; "Second Inaugural Address"; "Last Public Address"

Volume 7: Man and Society II
  • Francis 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"
  • Jonathan Swift: "Resolutions when I Come to Be Old"; "An Essay on Modern Education"; "A Meditation upon a Broomstick"; "A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country"
  • David Hume: "Of Refinement in the Arts"; "Of Money"; "Of the Balance of Trade"; "Of Taxes"; "Of the Study of History"
  • Plutarch: "Of Bashfulness"
  • Robert Louis Stevenson: "The Lantern-Bearers" from Across the Plains
  • John Ruskin: "An Idealist's Arraignment of the Age" from Four Clavigera
  • William James: "On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings"; "The Energies of Men"; "Great Men and Their Environment"
  • Arthur Schopenhauer: "On Education"
  • Michael Faraday: "Observations on Mental Education"
  • Edmund Burke: "Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol"
  • John Calhoun: "The Concurrent Majority"
  • Thomas Babington Macaulay: "Machiavelli"
  • Voltaire: "English Men and Ideas" from Letters on the English
  • Dante: "On World Government" from De Monarchia
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau: "A Lasting Peace through the Federation of Europe"
  • Immanuel Kant: "Perpetual Peace"
  • Carl von Clausewitz: "What Is War?" from On War
  • Thomas Robert Malthus: "The Principle of Population" from Population: The First Essay

Volume 8: Natural Science

Volume 9: Mathematics
  • Lancelot Hogben: "Mathematics, the Mirror of Civilization" from Mathematics for the Million
  • Andrew Russell Forsyth: "Mathematics, in Life and Thought"
  • Alfred North Whitehead: "On Mathematical Method" from An Introduction to Mathematics, "On the Nature of a Calculus"
  • Bertrand Russell: "The Study of Mathematics"; "Mathematics and the Metaphysicians"; "Definition of Number"
  • Edward Kasner and James R. Newman: "New Names for Old"; "Beyond the Googol"
  • Tobias Dantzig: "Fingerprints"; "The Empty Column"
  • Leonhard Euler: "The Seven Bridges of Konigsberg"
  • Norman Robert Campbell: "Measurement"; "Numerical Laws and the Use of Mathematics in Science"
  • William Clifford: "The Postulates of the Science of Space" from The Common Sense of the Exact Sciences
  • Henri Poincaré: "Space"; "Mathematical Creation"; "Chance"
  • Pierre Simon de Laplace: "Probability" from A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities
  • Charles Sanders Peirce: "The Red and the Black"

Volume 10: Philosophical Essays

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