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Informed, smart, and entertaining conversations about books that transform the world.

The Great Books series pairs interesting thinkers with some of the tradition’s greatest books to show how those books shift our perception of the world and provide new paradigms that offer a way out of our current dilemmas. Look for conversations on Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter… Read More

Episodes: Great Books

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GREAT BOOKS 19: Samuel Beckett, with Nicholas Johnson


GREAT BOOKS 18: Jessica Benjamin's The Bonds of Love, with Jessica Benjamin

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GREAT BOOKS 17: Claude Lévi-Strauss's Tristes Tropiques, with Denis Hollier

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GREAT BOOKS 16: Paul Celan's Poetry, with Amir Eshel

GREAT BOOKS 15: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, with Julie Carlson

GREAT BOOKS 14: Ralph Waldo Ellison's Invisible Man, with John Callahan

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GREAT BOOKS 13: Art Spiegelman's Maus, with Hilary Chute

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GREAT BOOKS 12: Sigmund Freud's Civilization and its Discontents, with Peter Brooks

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GREAT BOOKS 11: Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, with Deborah Plant

GREAT BOOKS 10: Nella Larsen's Passing, with Emily Bernard


GREAT BOOKS 9: Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time, with Caroline Weber


“Our lives are frittered away by detail.” Henry David Thoreau's Walden, with Benjamin Reiss

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“One is not born, but rather becomes a woman.” Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, with Kate Stimpson.

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Find What is Moving in Your Soul: Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, with Glenn Wallis.

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Time for America to Grow Up: James Baldwin’s Another Country, with Rich Blint.

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A Revolutionary “New Truth” for America: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, with Carol Gilligan.

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“On or around December 1910, human character changed.” Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, with Jared Stark.

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“You must not tell anyone…” Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, with Ava Chin

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One of the Great Novels of All Time: Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, with Manthia Diawara.