By: Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)
By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)
The Brothers Karamazov
Set in 19th century Russia, The Brothers Karamazov (Russian: Братья Карамазовы) is the last novel written by the illustrious author Fyodor Dostoyevsky who died a few months before the book's publication. The deeply philosophical and passionate novel tells the story of Fyodor Karamazov, an immoral debauch whose sole aim in life is the acquisition of wealth. Twice married, he has three sons whose welfare and upbringing, he cares nothing about. At the beginning of the story, Dimitri Karamazov, the eldest son who is now a twenty-eight year old war veteran, returns to his home town to claim the inheritance left to him by his dead mother...
By: Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)
History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy
History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy is an historical account by Niccolò Machiavelli. Toward the end of 1520, the Cardinal Giulio of Medici, later Pope Clement VII, offered Machiavelli the appointment to write a history of Florence. Although Machiavelli was reluctant to accept, accepting was his only way to regain the good graces of the Medici who had regained power and were in a position to offer him employment and protection. Doing the history also provided a way for Machiavelli’s views to become the “official” history of Florentine and Italian affairs. Once completed, the work was presented officially to Giulio, now Pope, in May of 1526.
By: James Allen (1864-1912)
Above Life's Turmoil
Combining elements of Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism with concepts dealing with self discipline, motivation and the power of positive thinking, James Allen's 1910 inspirational book Above Life's Turmoil is a pioneering work in self-help literature. One of the factors that makes the book appealing is that it doesn't purport to be a magic formula that will help you to get whatever you want. Instead, it aims to give the reader self knowledge and self conquest which will ultimately lead to inner peace in a turbulent world...
As a Man Thinketh
“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts,” is one of the quotes from James Allen's classic self help books, As a Man Thinketh. Published in 1902, it provides many more such insightful concepts on the power of thought and its effect on a human being's personality and behavior. This volume is more of a literary essay than a complete book and its title is based on a Biblical proverb, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Taking this piece of ancient wisdom further, James Allen explores the far-reaching effects of the inner workings of a person's mind and motivation...
The Heavenly Life
Many of us live with the belief that we can achieve heaven or the ultimate peace and happiness only in an after-life. Many of us believe that heaven is a place that is far removed from earth. However, The Heavenly Life by James Allen seeks to convince us that heaven and hell are both here on earth and they lie within our own selves. A deeply moving, insightful and philosophical book that explores the ideas of living with integrity, in harmony with our fellows and in finding the power of love and integrity, The Heavenly Life was first published in 1903...
The Mastery of Destiny
James Allen’s inspirational and thought-provoking books have inspired millions. In The Mastery of Destiny, he instructs readers on developing self-control, willpower, concentration, and motivation. Through mental discipline, we can create a life of unending happiness, prosperity, and, most importantly, self-mastery.
The Path of Prosperity
Summary from The Path of Prosperity: I looked around upon the world, and saw that it was shadowed by sorrow and scorched by the fierce fires of suffering. And I looked for the cause. I looked around, but could not find it; I looked in books, but could not find it; I looked within, and found there both the cause and the self-made nature of that cause. I looked again, and deeper, and found the remedy. I found one Law, the Law of Love; one Life, the Life of adjustment to that Law; one Truth, the truth of a conquered mind and a quiet and obedient heart...
The Way of Peace
The Way of Peace is your guide to the power of meditation; self and truth; the acquirement of spiritual power; the realization of selfless love; entering into the infinite; saints, sages, and saviors; the law of service; and the realization of perfect peace.
By: Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
The Wound Dresser
The Wound Dresser is a series of letters written from the hospitals in Washington by Walt Whitman during the War of the Rebellion to The New York Times, the Brooklyn Eagle and his mother, edited by Richard Maurice Burke, M.D., one of Whitman's literary executors.
By: Edith Nesbit (1858-1924)
A thrilling spy story, a children's adventure, a charming portrait of early twentieth century life in London and the countryside and a heart warming family tale are all combined in this classic of children's literature The Railway Children by E Nesbit. The book has remained on the list of the best-loved children's books ever since it was first published as a serial story in The London Magazine in 1905. Later, it was published in book form and won acclaim from critics and readers across the world for its wonderful elements of character and plot...
Royal Children of English History
From the first chapter: “History is a story, a story of things that happened to real live people in our England years ago; and the things that are happening here and now, and that are put in the newspapers, will be history for little children one of these days. And the people you read about in history were real live people, who were good and bad, and glad and sorry, just as people are now-a-days.” E. Nesbit writes about some of the people behind the names, dates and battles of English History in this lovely book for older children. The original book contains some beautiful illustrations and you can see those by clicking the ‘Gutenberg’ link below.
My School Days
A short memoir about the author's school days, serialised in The Girl's Own Paper from October 1896 to September 1897. It includes stories about teachers, fellow pupils, the things that scared her most as a child (and even as an adult) and a vivid account of the best summer of her childhood.Summary by Cori Samuel.
By: Thornton W. Burgess (1874-1965)
The Burgess Animal Book for Children
Peter Rabbit goes to school, with Mother Nature as his teacher. In this zoology book for children, Thornton W. Burgess describes the mammals of North America in the form of an entertaining story, including plenty of detail but omitting long scientific names. There is an emphasis on conservation.
The Burgess Bird Book for Children
The Burgess Bird Book for Children is a zoology book written in the form of a story featuring Peter Rabbit. Peter learns from his friend Jenny Wren all about the birds of North America, and we meet many of them in the Old Orchard, the Green Meadow, and the Green Forest.
By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind
This work presents Rousseau’s belief in the profoundly transformational effects of the development of civilization on human nature, which Rousseau claims other political philosophers had failed to grasp. Specifically, before the onset of civilization, according to Rousseau, natural man lived a contented, solitary life, naturally good and happy. It is only with the onset of civilization, Rousseau claims, that humans become social beings, and, concomitant with their civilization, natural man becomes corrupted with the social vices of pride, vanity, greed and servility.
The Social Contract
The Social Contract outlines Rousseau’s views on political justice, explaining how a just and legitimate state is to be founded, organized and administered. Rousseau sets forth, in his characteristically brazen and iconoclastic manner, the case for direct democracy, while simultaneously casting every other form of government as illegitimate and tantamount to slavery. Often hailed as a revolutionary document which sparked the French Revolution, The Social Contract serves both to inculcate dissatisfaction with actually-existing governments and to allow its readers to envision and desire a radically different form of political and social organization. (Summary by Eric Jonas)
Considered to mark the emergence of a new literary form, the unvarnished autobiography, Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau was first published in 1782, four years after his death. The philosopher and educationist whose political philosophy is credited with having inspired the French Revolution, Rousseau was a man of immense wit, talent and depth of thinking. His skill in art, music, literature and cooking along with his magnificent body of work in philosophy, politics, education and sociology have made him a legendary figure...
|Émile or, Concerning Education; Extracts
By: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Lincoln at Cooper Union
On 27 February 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave this address at the Cooper Union in New York City. When he gave the speech, Lincoln was considered by many to be just a country lawyer. After he gave the speech, he soon became his party’s nominee for president.
By: Aristotle (384-322)
The Politics, by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, is one of the most influential texts in political philosophy. In it, Aristotle explores the role that the political community should play in developing the virtue of its citizens. One of his central ideas is that “Man is a political animal,” meaning that people can only become virtuous by active participation in the political community. Aristotle also criticizes his teacher Plato, classifies and evaluates six different types of constitutions and political institutions, and describes his vision of the ideal state...
Aristotle’s Poetics from the 4th century B.C. aims to give a short study of storytelling. It discusses things like unity of plot, reversal of situation, and character in the context of Greek tragedy, comedy and epic poetry. But it still applies today. It is especially popular with screenwriters as seen in many script gurus’ how-to books.
The Nicomachean Ethics
The work consists of ten books, originally separate scrolls, and is understood to be based on notes said to be from his lectures at the Lyceum which were either edited by or dedicated to Aristotle's son, Nicomachus. In many ways this work parallels the similar Eudemian Ethics, which has only eight books, and the two works can be fruitfully compared. Books V, VI, and VII of the Nicomachean Ethics are identical to Books IV, V, and VI of the Eudemian Ethics. Opinions about the relationship between the two works, for example which was written first, and which originally contained the three common books, is divided...
The Rhetoric was developed by Aristotle during two periods when he was in Athens, the first between 367 to 347 BCE (when he was seconded to Plato in the Academy), and the second between 335 to 322 BCE (when he was running his own school, the Lyceum). The Rhetoric consists of three books. Book I offers a general overview, presenting the purposes of rhetoric and a working definition; it also offers a detailed discussion of the major contexts and types of rhetoric. Book II discusses in detail the three means of persuasion that an orator must rely on: those grounded in credibility (ethos), in the emotions and psychology of the audience (pathos), and in patterns of reasoning (logos)...
Categories is the first of Aristotle's six texts on logic which are collectively known as the Organon. In Categories, Aristotle enumerates all the possible kinds of things that can be the subject or the predicate of a proposition. Aristotle places every object of human apprehension under one of ten categories (known to medieval writers as the praedicamenta). Aristotle intended them to enumerate everything that can be expressed without composition or structure, thus anything that can be either the subject or the predicate of a proposition. The ten categories, or classes, are: Substance, Quantity, Quality, Relation, Place, Time, Position, State, Action and Affection.
Aristotle's On Interpretation (Greek Peri Hermeneias) or De Interpretatione (the Latin title) is the second of Aristotle's six texts on logic which are collectively known as the Organon. On Interpretation is one of the earliest surviving philosophical works in the Western tradition to deal with the relationship between language and logic in a comprehensive, explicit, and formal way. The work begins by analyzing simple categoric propositions, and draws a series of basic conclusions on the routine...
Posterior Analytics is the fourth of Aristotle's six texts on logic which are collectively known as the Organon ("Instrument"). Posterior Analytics deals with demonstration, definition, and scientific knowledge. Demonstration is distinguished as a syllogism productive of scientific knowledge, while Definition is marked as the statement of a thing's nature, a statement of the meaning of the name, or of an equivalent nominal formula.
Prior Analytics is the third of Aristotle's six texts on logic which are collectively known as the Organon ("Instrument"). In Prior Analytics Aristotle conducts a formal study of arguments. In logic an argument is a series of true or false statements which lead to a true or false conclusion. Aristotle identifies valid and invalid forms of arguments called syllogisms. A syllogism is an argument consisting of three sentences: two premises and a conclusion. Of the entire Aristotelian corpus, Aristotle gives priority to the study of his treatises on Logic.
The Topics is is the fifth of Aristotle's six texts on logic which are collectively known as the Organon ("Instrument"). The Topics constitutes Aristotle's treatise on the art of dialectic—the invention and discovery of arguments in which the propositions rest upon commonly-held opinions or endoxa. Topoi are "places" from which such arguments can be discovered or invented. In his treatise on the Topics, Aristotle does not explicitly define a topos, though it is "at least primarily a strategy for argument not infrequently justified or explained by a principle."
De Sophisticis Elenchis is the sixth of Aristotle's six texts on logic which are collectively known as the Organon ("Instrument"). In De Sophisticis Elenchis Aristotle identifies 13 falacies. Verbal Fallacies are: Accent or Emphasis; Amphibology; Equivocation; Composition; Division and Figure of Speech. Material Fallacies are: Accident; Affirming the Consequent; Converse Accident; Irrelevant Conclusion; Begging the Question; False Cause and Fallacy of Many Questions.
By: Karl Marx
Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production
Karl Marx’s Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production is a critical analysis of the political economy or the capitalist system. In this 3 volume work, he says that a capitalist economy can only survive by exploiting the working class. The concepts discussed in this book laid the foundations of the political doctrine that would later be known as communism. This book has three volumes, the first volume is Marx’s critical analysis of the capitalist mode of production and how it’s effects on poor people...
Wage-Labour and Capital
Orignally written as a series of newspaper articles in 1847, Wage-Labour and Capital was intended to give a short overview, for popular consumption, of Marx’s central threories regarding the economic relationships between workers and capitalists. These theories outlined include the Marxian form of the Labour Theory of Value, which distinguishes “labour” from “labour-power”, and the Theory of Concentration of Capital, which states that capitalism tends towards the creation of monopolies and the disenfranchisement of the middle and working classes...
Eleven Theses on Feuerbach
The “Theses on Feuerbach” are eleven short philosophical notes written by Karl Marx in 1845. They outline a critique of the ideas of Marx’s fellow Young Hegelian philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach. The theses form a basis for the activism emphasised by Marx’s work, and this short text is perhaps best know for its ending – a Eureka for revolutionary socialism. The theses were written in 1845, but not published until 1888 (five years after Marx’s death), with slight modifications by Friedrich Engels. The original text was published in 1924. This translation is based on the 1888 version.
By: Joseph Devlin
How to Speak and Write Correctly
A book on improving eloquence, proficiency and grammar in everyday communication. ‘How to Speak and Write Correctly’ is not a manual of the styles to use in speaking and writing, nor is it a manual for grammar. It is a simple, useful book for helping ordinary people in effective communication. It lays down and explains broad rules of communication, further giving useful tips for effective communication. The book also lists common mistakes in communication and offers suggestions on how best to avoid them...
By: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927)
Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow
Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, published in 1886, is a collection of humorous essays by Jerome K. Jerome. It was the author’s second published book and helped establish him as a leading English humorist. The book consists of 14 independent articles arranged by themes.
A comic look at the curious habits and customs of the inhabitants of ‘Stage Land’. Dedicated to ‘that highly respectable but unnecessarily retiring individual, of whom we hear so much but see so little, “the earnest student of drama”
Idle Ideas in 1905
Back in 1905 Jerome K. Jerome shared his thoughts on a variety of subjects, including "Should Women Be Beautiful?", "Should Soldiers Be Polite?" and "Is The American Husband Made Entirely Of Stained Glass?". Every subject is analysed and commented on in the witty and satirical style we have grown to expect from the author.
By: Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection
Considered to be one of the books that changed the world and how we view ourselves, On The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin was met with incredulous horror when it was first published in 1859. The revolutionary, almost blasphemous ideas it described were seen as antithetical to the existing ideas of Creation contained in the Bible and other religious texts. It was mocked, reviled and the author was personally subjected to vicious persecution by the establishment and theologians. In the years that followed its publication, the book became the subject of furious intellectual and social debate...
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin is the autobiography of the British naturalist Charles Darwin which was published in 1887, five years after his death. Darwin wrote the book, which he entitled Recollections of the Development of my Mind and Character, for his family. He states that he started writing it on about May 28, 1876 and had finished it by August 3. The book was edited by Charles Darwin’s son Francis Darwin, who removed several passages about Darwin’s critical views of God and Christianity...
The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex
PART I. THE DESCENT OR ORIGIN OF MAN. Part 1 of 3 of book on evolutionary theory by English naturalist Charles Darwin, first published in 1871. It was Darwin's second great book on evolutionary theory, following his 1859 work, On The Origin of Species. In The Descent of Man, Darwin applies evolutionary theory to human evolution, and details his theory of sexual selection. The book discusses many related issues, including evolutionary psychology, evolutionary ethics, differences between human races, differences between sexes, the superiority of men to women, and the relevance of the evolutionary theory to society...
By: Alexander Hamilton (1755/1757-1804)
The Federalist Papers
In order to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution in the late 1780s, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Hay wrote a series of 85 articles and essays explaining their reasons to support the constitution. Most of these articles were published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet and they later became known as “The Federalist Papers.” In reading the articles, one will encounter very interesting issues like Hamilton’s opposition to including the Bill of Rights in the Constitution and why he thinks a Union is better than a Confederation...
By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)
How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day
This book is a classic piece on self improvement teaching you to live to the fullest. Judging from the title of the book, the reader might expect that the book is a manual on how to manage your time better. Nothing could be further from the truth, this book is a flowery and witty self help book aimed at helping readers improve the quality of their lives, in fact it is one of the firsts of its kind in the world. Bennett describes the twenty four hours in a day as a miracle and that it should be used for the betterment of health, wealth, respect, pleasure and contentment...
Mental Efficiency and Other Hints to Men and Women
Mental Efficiency and Other Hints to Men and Women is one of the many self help books that Bennett wrote, the most famous of these being How to Live 24 Hours a Day. It is highly readable, amusing and offers wisdom in an extremely palatable form. Bennett's gift for analysis and his knowledge of philosophy and psychology make this book a valuable treasure trove of handy hints to improve our lives. Though it was first published in 1911, it remains as relevant, wise and useful as it did more than a hundred years ago...
Literary Taste: How to Form It
Arnold Bennett describes a method for enjoying literature, and suggests the contents of a comprehensive library. Chapters 1-10 and 14 describe his method for learning to enjoy literature. Chapters 11, 12, and 13 contain detailed lists of the 337 volumes required to complete a comprehensive library of English works. This reading is from the 1913 version at Project Gutenberg, and so does not contain the revisions made by Swinnerton for the 1939 edition, which included authors of the early Twentieth Century. Swinnerton’s revisions are available from Wikipedia.
The Human Machine
Bennett asks us to consider our brains as the most wonderful machine, a machine which is the only thing in this world that we can control. As he writes: "I am simply bent on calling your attention to a fact which has perhaps wholly or partially escaped you -- namely, that you are the most fascinating bit of machinery that ever was."As ever, his prose is honeyed, his thoughts inspired, and his advice as relevant today as when it was written. (Introduction by Ruth Golding)
By: The 9/11 Commission
The 9/11 Commission Report
Taking the reader back to the horror and devastation of September 11, 2001, the 9/11 Commission Report by the 9/11 Commission, is the official report that presents the final findings of the committee Krean Hamilton Commission (better known as the 9/11 Commission.) The report reveals not just the events that happened on that fateful day, but also describes the circumstances that led up to it. It analyzes the role of several government agencies in the drama and also pinpoints the lacunae in the system that allowed such events to occur...
By: Grenville Kleiser (1868-1953)
Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases
Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases is a practical handbook written by Grenville Kleiser. Grenville is known for his writings on humor, positive thinking and inspirational thought. This serves as a handbook of pertinent expressions, striking similes and terms for embellishing speech and literature. This book can be used to improve vocabulary for reading, writing and speaking alike. Through mastery of words, the most powerful and perfect expression of thought can be delivered orally. Choosing the correct words conveys ideas in a crisp and clear way that will hold and audience's attention...
By: Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)
The Woman in White
Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White tells the story of two half-sisters, Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe who were embroiled in the sinister plot of Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco to take over their family’s wealth. It’s considered to be one of the first “sensation novels” to be published. Like most novels that fall into this category, the protagonists here are pushed to their limits by the villains before they finally got the justice they deserved. The story begins with Walter Hartright helping a woman dressed in white who turned out to have escaped from a mental asylum...
By: Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (480-524/525)
The Consolation of Philosophy
Consolation of Philosophy (Latin: Consolatio Philosophiae) is a philosophical work by Boethius written in about the year 524 AD. It has been described as the single most important and influential work in the West in medieval and early Renaissance Christianity, and is also the last great work that can be called Classical. Consolation of Philosophy was written during Boethius’ one year imprisonment while awaiting trial, and eventual horrific execution, for the crime of treason by Ostrogothic King Theodoric the Great...
By: Plato (427-347)
Plato's Republic is a Socratic dialogue which deals mainly with the definition of justice, the characteristics of a just city state and the just man. Although it was written more than two thousand years ago, many of the ideas and thoughts expounded here are still very much relevant to modern society. This is Plato's best known work and is also considered his most influential especially when it comes to the fields of philosophy and political theory. The Republic is divided into ten books and in each book Socrates discusses different topics from the immortality of the soul to the meaning of justice with his disciples like Glaucon, Thrasymachus, Adeimantus and others...
The Apology of Socrates
More than two thousand years ago, the great Greek philosopher Socrates was condemned to death for making seditious comments against the city state of Athens. His followers and disciples were legion. Ranging from Xenophon, the mercenary warrior and historian of the Peloponnesian War to the scholarly Plato, Socrates was described as the conscience-keeper of the nation, or the “gadfly” who would not let the massive machinery of the state rest in complacence. The Apology of Socrates by Plato was thought to have been written following Socrates trial and death in 399 BC...
Awaiting his trial on charges of impiety and heresy, Socrates encounters Euthyphro, a self-proclaimed authority on matters of piety and the will of the gods. Socrates, desiring instruction in these matters, converses with Euthyphro, but as usual, the man who professes to know nothing fares better than the man who claims to be an expert. One of Plato’s well-known Socratic Dialogues, Euthyphro probes the nature of piety, and notably poses the so-called Euthyphro Dilemma: Do the gods love a thing because it is holy, or is a thing holy because it is loved by the gods?
The Symposium (Ancient Greek: Συμπόσιον) is a philosophical book written by Plato sometime after 385 BCE. On one level the book deals with the genealogy, nature and purpose of love, on another level the book deals with the topic of knowledge, specifically how does one know what one knows. The topic of love is taken up in the form of a group of speeches, given by a group of men at a symposium or a wine drinking party at the house of the tragedian Agathon at Athens. Plato constructed the Symposium as a story within a story within a story...
In Plato’s Ion, Socrates questions Ion on whether he should really claim laud and glory for his ‘rhapsodic’ recitals of Homer’s poetry.
“Our intention is, that Timaeus, who is the most of an astronomer amongst us, and has made the nature of the universe his special study, should speak first, beginning with the generation of the world and going down to the creation of man…” ‘Timaeus’ is usually regarded as one of Plato’s later dialogues, and provides an account of the creation of the universe, with physical, metaphysical and ethical dimensions, which had great influence over philosophers for centuries following. It attributes the order and beauty of the universe to a benevolent demiurge – a ‘craftsman’ or god – fashioning the physical world after the pattern of an ideal, eternal one...
“For there is no light of justice or temperance, or any of the higher ideas which are precious to souls, in the earthly copies of them: they are seen through a glass, dimly…”Socrates and his earnest friend Phaedrus, enjoying the Athenian equivalent of a lunchtime stroll in the park, exchange views on love and on the power of words, spoken and written.Phaedrus is the most enchanting of Plato’s Erotic dialogues (capitalised in honour of the god). The barefoot philosopher urges an eager young...
By: James Baldwin (1841-1925)
Four Great Americans: Washington, Franklin, Webster, Lincoln. A Book for Young Americans
Written for children, James Baldwin’s history of Washington, Franklin, Webster, and Lincoln brings these men to life in a way that will be interesting for adults as well. The stories touch on the little humanities of the great men, rather than dwelling on the great works and great events of their lifetimes, without ignoring the latter.
By: John Bunyan (1628-1688)
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners
Grace Abounding is the spiritual autobiography of John Bunyan, who also penned Pilgrim’s Progress, perhaps one of the most significant pieces of Christian literature, second only to the Bible. Grace Abounding follows Bunyan’s struggle to find true repentance and forgiveness, his battle with Satan’s temptations of unbelief, his comfort found in the Bible and his overarching victory gotten by the grace of God through Jesus Christ his Son. Readers familiar with Pilgrim’s Progress will recognize...
John Bunyan (November 28, 1628 – August 31, 1688), a Christian writer and preacher, was born at Harrowden (one mile south-east of Bedford), in the Parish of Elstow, England. He wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress, arguably the most famous published Christian allegory. In the Church of England he is remembered with a Lesser Festival on 30 August. Bunyan became a popular preacher as well as a prolific author, though most of his works consist of expanded sermons. In theology he was a Puritan, but there was nothing gloomy about him. The portrait his friend Robert White drew, which has often been reproduced, shows the attractiveness of his true character.
By: John Milton (1608-1674)
A prose tract or polemic by John Milton, published November 23, 1644, at the height of the English Civil War… Milton, though a supporter of the Parliament, argued forcefully against the Licensing Order of 1643, noting that such censorship had never been a part of classical Greek and Roman society. The tract is full of biblical and classical references which Milton uses to strengthen his argument. The issue was personal for Milton as he had suffered censorship himself in his efforts to publish...
By: Helen Keller (1888-1968)
The Story of My Life
An autobiography of Helen Keller published when the author was still in her early 20's. The narrative reveals how her mind developed and matured until she began her studies at Radcliffe College
The World I Live In
The World I Live In by Helen Keller is a collection of essays that poignantly tells of her impressions of the world, through her sense of touch, smell, her imagination and dreams. My hand is to me what your hearing and sight together are to you. In large measure we travel the same highways, read the same books, speak the same language, yet our experiences are different. All my comings and goings turn on the hand as on a pivot. It is the hand that binds me to the world of men and women. The hand is my feeler with which I reach through isolation and darkness and seize every pleasure, every activity that my fingers encounter...
By: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Inventor, author, printer, scientist, politician, diplomat—all these terms do not even begin to fully describe the amazing and multitalented, Benjamin Franklin who was of course also one of the Founding Fathers of America. At the age of 75, in 1771 he began work on what he called his Memoirs. He was still working on it when he died in 1790 and it was published posthumously, entitled An Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The book had a complicated and controversial publication history. Strangely enough, the first volume only was first published in French, in Paris in 1791...
By: Confucius (551-479 BC)
The Sayings of Confucius
A treasure trove of wise and pithy sayings, reflections on education, family values, the ideal human being, life and living, politics, art, culture and timeless wisdom, The Sayings of Confucius is indeed an invaluable addition to your bookshelf. Ever since Chinese literary works first began to be translated into European languages, the works of the legendary Chinese philosopher and teacher Confucius, who lived in present day Qufu in the Shandong province of China, more than two thousand years ago, have held universal appeal...
By: Mara L. Pratt
American History Stories
A children’s book detailing early American history from the Norsemen to the Revolution, meant for educational use. (Description by the reader)
By: Zane Grey (1872-1939)
The Last of the Plainsmen
Travel along as Mike Vendetti aka miketheauctioneer narrates an outstanding true account of a trip made in 1909 by Zane Grey and a plainsman, Buffalo Jones, through the Grand Canyon to lasso a cougar. That’s right lasso. Throw a rope around. That’s equivalent to catching one by the tail. As I narrated this book, I found fact to be as exciting as fiction. This part of the west was relatively wild and untamed at this time. Wolves, wild horses, buffalo and other wildlife were quite prevalent, and the Indians were not that friendly...
|Tales of Fishes
By: Andrew Lang
A Short History of Scotland
A Short History of Scotland is a consise introduction to the history of Scotland from Roman times to the last Jacobite rebellion, written by the author of a much longer Scottish history.
|Introduction to the Compleat Angler
By: René Descartes (1596-1650)
Meditations on First Philosophy
The foundations of modern skepticism and objective thinking are thought to be rooted in the philosophy of Rene Descartes, the French mathematician, philosopher and writer. This great sixteenth century thinker also gave us theories on mind-body dualism and the concept of ethics as the highest form of science. He is considered the Father of Modern Western Philosophy. His theories also led to the emancipation of humanity from the doctrine that the Church is the sole authority over Man and led to a more autonomous idea of the human condition...
Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences
The Discourse on Method is best known as the source of the famous quotation “cogito ergo sum”, “I think, therefore I am.” …. It is a method which gives a solid platform from which all modern natural sciences could evolve. With this work, the idea of skepticism was revived from the ancients such as Sextus Empiricus and modified to account for a truth that Descartes found to be incontrovertible. Descartes started his line of reasoning by doubting everything, so as to assess the world from a fresh perspective, clear of any preconceived notions.
By: Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
The Critique of Pure Reason
The Critique of Pure Reason, first published in 1781 with a second edition in 1787, has been called the most influential and important philosophical text of the modern age. Kant saw the Critique of Pure Reason as an attempt to bridge the gap between rationalism (there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense experience) and empiricism (sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge) and, in particular, to counter the radical empiricism of David Hume (our beliefs are purely the result of accumulated habits, developed in response to accumulated sense experiences)...
The Critique of Practical Reason
The Critique of Practical Reason (Kritik der praktischen Vernunft) is the second of Immanuel Kant’s three critiques, first published in 1788. It follows on from his Critique of Pure Reason and deals with his moral philosophy. The second Critique exercised a decisive influence over the subsequent development of the field of ethics and moral philosophy, becoming the principle reference point for ethical systems that focus on the rightness or wrongness of actions themselves, as opposed to the rightness or wrongness of the consequences of those actions...
Perpetual Peace: A Philosophic Essay
This essay, written in 1795, puts forth a plan for a lasting peace between nations and peoples. Kant puts forth necessary means to any peace, and argues that nations can be brought into federation with one another without loss of sovereignty. In one translation, telling of the historical impact of this essay, this federation is called a “league of nations.” The supplements and appendices are of considerable interest on their own. The supplements contain an argument regarding the use which nature makes of war, and the way in which nature, in the end, impels us towards peace...
On the Popular Judgment: That may be Right in Theory, but does not Hold Good in the Praxis
This tripartite essay, published variously as On the Popular Judgment (J. Richardson trans.), On the Old Saw (E.B. Ashton trans.), or On the Common Saying (both M.J. Gregor and H.B. Nisbet), Kant takes up the issue of the relation of theory to practice in three distinct ways. In the first, he replies to Christian Garve’s criticism of his moral theory, in the second, he distances himself from Thomas Hobbes, and in the third, Moses Mendelssohn. The three taken together are representative of the breadth of Kant’s moral and political thought; the first section being concerned with the individual, the second with the state, and the third with the species...
Of the Injustice of Counterfeiting Books
This essay of Kant’s on copyright argues that the unlicensed copying of books cannot possibly be permissible, due to the fact that it assumes a consent on the part of the author which it is logically impossible for the author to give. The argument is dependent upon an assumption that the writings be commodified, for the reason why the author is unable to possibly give consent to multiple publishers is due to the author’s will – to communicate with the public – necessitating the profitability of the publisher, for, it is assumed, there is no way to communicate with the public at large without a great expense which can only be borne by a publishing firm...
By: Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Nature” is a short essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson published anonymously in 1836. It is in this essay that the foundation of transcendentalism is put forth, a belief system that espouses a non-traditional appreciation of nature. Recent advances in zoology, botany, and geology confirmed Emerson’s intuitions about the intricate relationships of nature at large. The publication of “Nature” is usually taken to be the watershed moment at which transcendentalism became a major cultural movement...
Essays, Second Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) was an American essayist, philosopher, and poet, best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid 19th century. His teachings directly influenced the growing New Thought movement of the mid-1800s.
A series of biographical lectures originally published in 1850. Each chapter is a philosophical treatment of the life of an intellectual. The six representatives are Plato, Swedenborg, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Napolean and Goethe. (Introduction by S. Kovalchik)
By: Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
From the dawn of human consciousness, dreams have always fascinated us. Do they mean something? Do dreams help us see into the future? These questions have intrigued us for centuries. Sigmund Freud was one of the first people to examine dreams seriously and interpret them in the context of our waking lives. In Dream Psychology: Psychoanalysis for Beginners, the Austrian psychoanalyst, Dr Sigmund Freud shares his exciting early discoveries that there was indeed a connection between his patients' dreams and their mental disturbances...
Reflections on War and Death
Anyone, as Freud tells us in Reflections on War and Death, forced to react against his own impulses may be described as a hypocrite, whether he is conscious of it or not. One might even venture to assert—it is still Freud’s argument—that our contemporary civilisation favours this sort of hypocrisy and that there are more civilised hypocrites than truly cultured persons, and it is even a question whether a certain amount of hypocrisy is not indispensable to maintain civilisation. When this...
Totem and Taboo
Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics is a book by Sigmund Freud, published in German in 1913. It is a collection of four essays first published in the journal Imago (1912–13), employing the application of psychoanalysis to the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and the study of religion. The four essays are entitled: The Horror of Incest; Taboo and Emotional Ambivalence; Animism, Magic and the Omnipotence of Thoughts; and The Return of Totemism in Childhood.
By: Saint Ambrose (337/340-397)
On the Duties of the Clergy
Aurelius Ambrosius was a fourth century cleric who rose to become the Archbishop of Milan in 374 AD. His father was a powerful Roman general and the prefect of Gaul. His brother and sister were also consecrated as saints by the Catholic Church. As an infant, a swarm of bees settled over his face and flew away without harming the baby, but left behind a drop of honey and this was seen as a sign of his future eloquence and bees are often painted in his portraits as his symbols. Ambrosius (or Ambrose as he is referred to in English) was a highly learned man, well versed in Latin and Greek, theology and many other subjects...
Concerning Virgins (De Virginibus) is a series of letters, compiled into three “books,” St. Ambrose wrote to his sister, Manellia, These, perhaps Ambrose’s earliest writings, were written in 377 CE. Written in a rather light-handed non-technical style they appear as ethical guides to women who are contemplating entering nunneries. More importantly, they set the tone for Ambrose’s later writing on ethics. Concerning Virgins was referred to by other patristic writers including St. Jerome, St Augustine and Cassian, and are now included in the extra-biblical cannon of the early church fathers.
By: Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Relativity: The Special and General Theory
Einstein wrote this book for people who are interested in understanding the Theory of Relativity but aren't experts in scientific and mathematical principles. I'm sure many people have heard about Einstein's Theory of Relativity, but most of them don't really know what it is all about. This book gives them a chance to know more about this very famous theory without the need to take a Physics course first. This book is divided into three parts. The first part explains what special relativity is all about...
Sidelights on Relativity
Sidelights on Relativity contains ETHER AND THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY, an address delivered on May 5th, 1920, in the University of Leyden; and GEOMETRY AND EXPERIENCE, an expanded form of an address to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin on January 27th, 1921. (Intro from Project Gutenberg)
By: Founding Fathers of the United States
The Constitution of the United States of America, 1787
The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. It announced that the thirteen American colonies, who were at war with Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, no longer considered themselves part of the British Empire. They now called themselves a new nation, The United States of America. This famous document went on to become a well-known keystone of the human rights movement. However, the newly formed state had no real identity or philosophy and were merely a loose collection of states that had freed themselves from colonial rule...
The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America
Declaration of Independence is the document in which the Thirteen Colonies declared themselves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain and explained their justifications for doing so. It was ratified by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.
Bill of Rights & Amendments to the US Constitution
The Constitution has a total of 27 amendments. The first ten, collectively known as the Bill of Rights, were ratified simultaneously. The following seventeen were ratified separately.
By: Johanna Spyri (1827-1901)
Heidi (version 2 dramatic reading)
"Heidi" takes us on a journey to the eventful childhood of a good-hearted girl from the Swiss Alps. A warm and loving story, full of touching moments, it reaches children and adults alike. It was written in 1880 and published in two parts: 1. Heidi's years of learning and travel. 2. Heidi makes use of what she has learned. This English translation from 1915 has "an especial flavor, that very quality of delight in mountain scenes, in mountain people and in child life generally, which is one of the chief merits of the German original...
By: Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924)
Moths of the Limberlost
Gene Stratton-Porter was an American author, amateur naturalist, wildlife photographer, specializing in the birds and moths in one of the last of the vanishing wetlands of the lower Great Lakes Basin. The Limberlost and Wildflower Woods of northeastern Indiana were the laboratory and inspiration for her stories, novels, essays, photography, and movies. She was an accomplished author, artist and photographer and is generally considered to be one of the first female authors to promulgate public positions; conserving the Limberlost Swamp in her case...
By: Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825-1894)
The Madman And The Pirate
R. M. Ballantyne (April 24, 1825 – February 8, 1894) was a Scottish juvenile fiction writer. Born Robert Michael Ballantyne in Edinburgh, he was part of a famous family of printers and publishers. At the age of 16 he went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He returned to Scotland in 1847, and published his first book the following year, Hudson’s Bay: or, Life in the Wilds of North America. For some time he was employed by Messrs Constable, the publishers, but in 1856 he gave up business for the profession of literature, and began the series of adventure stories for the young with which his name is popularly associated.
By: Samuel B. Harding (1866-1927)
The Story of the Middle Ages
Intended for children 11 to 14 years old, The Story of the Middle Ages relates a little known period of history in an interesting and entertaining way. The author terms the Middle Ages as that period in the history of Europe between the fifth and fifteenth centuries. Its beginning is marked by the decline and fall of the mighty Roman Empire and its end is generally thought to be the dawn of the Renaissance or the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages are also divided by historians into the Early, High and Late Middle Ages...
By: Garrett P. Serviss (1851-1929)
Curiosities of the Sky
Is there intelligent life on Mars? Why are there starless gaps in the Milky Way? What creates the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights? These and more are the interesting questions that are asked and sought to be answered in the 1909 book, Curiosities of the Sky by Garrett P. Serviss. Garrett Putnam Serviss was an American astronomer and popular sci-fi writer. He believed that science should be understood and enjoyed by everyone, not just by scientists. Though he was trained as a lawyer, he went to work as a newspaper reporter with The New York Sun in 1867...
By: John Muir (1838-1914)
Anyone who's ever visited the Yosemite National Park will find this book a treasure trove of descriptions, information and evocations of the fabled beauty of this amazing piece of heaven on earth! The Yosemite by John Muir was published in 1912. Born in Scotland, England, this world-famous conservationist was a multi-talented genius. He was a geologist, naturalist, engineer, writer, botanist and a passionate and prolific writer on the preservation of the natural environment. His family migrated to America when he was just a few years old, the third of eight boisterous children...
The Mountains of California
First published in 1894, this wonderful travelogue by a famed naturalist and conservationist still remains a book that delights and informs its readers. The Mountains of California by John Muir recounts the author's exploration of the Yosemite Valley, Mount Whitney, the famed sequoia forests and King's Canyon among other places of immense natural beauty. Written in his characteristic zestful style, with a deep understanding and respect for nature, the book is a treasure trove of geography, geology, botany, biology and sheer love of the magical planet we live in...
My First Summer in the Sierra
The journal of nature-lover John Muir who spent the summer of 1869 walking California’s Sierra Nevada range. From French Bar to Mono Lake and the Yosemite Valley, Muir was awestruck by everything he saw. The antics of the smallest “insect people” amazed him as much as stunted thousand-year old Juniper trees growing with inconceivable tenacity from tiny cracks in the stone. Muir spent the rest of his life working to preserve the high Sierra, believing that “the clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” John Muir (1838-1914) was born in Dunbar, Scotland and grew up in Wisconsin, USA. This recording commemorates the 140th anniversary of that first summer.
The Story of My Boyhood and Youth
“The only fire for the whole house was the kitchen stove, with a fire box about eighteen inches long and eight inches wide and deep,- scant space for three or four small sticks, around which in hard zero weather all the family of ten shivered, and beneath which in the morning we found our socks and coarse, soggy boots frozen solid.” Thus, with perceptive eye for detail, the American naturalist, John Muir, describes life on a pioneer Wisconsin farm in the 1850’s. Muir was only eleven years old when his father uprooted the family from a relatively comfortable life in Dunbar, Scotland, to settle in the backwoods of North America...