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By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

Book cover Émile or, Concerning Education; Extracts

By: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln The Gettysburg Address

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, given November 19, 1863 on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live...

Lincoln at Cooper Union by Abraham Lincoln 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 BC)

Poetics by Aristotle Poetics

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.

By: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1818-1883, 1820-1895)

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto was conceived as an outline of the basic beliefs of the Communist movement. The authors believed that the European Powers were universally afraid of the nascent movement, and were condemning as "communist," people or activities that did not actually conform to what the Communists believed. This Manifesto, then, became a manual for their beliefs.In it we find Marx and Engel's rehearsal of the idea that Capital has stolen away the work of the artisan and peasant by building up factories to produce goods cheaply...

By: Joseph Devlin

How to Speak and Write Correctly 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 by Jerome K. Jerome 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.

Stage Land by Jerome K. Jerome Stage Land

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 by Jerome K. Jerome 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 by Charles Darwin 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 by Charles Darwin 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 by Charles Darwin 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 by Alexander Hamilton 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 by Arnold Bennett 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 by Arnold Bennett 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 by Arnold Bennett 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 by Arnold Bennett 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: Grenville Kleiser (1868-1953)

Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases by Grenville Kleiser 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: Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (480-524/525)

The Consolation of Philosophy by Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius 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 by Plato Plato's Republic

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...

Euthyphro by Plato Euthyphro

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 by Plato The Symposium

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...

Ion by Plato Ion

In Plato’s Ion, Socrates questions Ion on whether he should really claim laud and glory for his ‘rhapsodic’ recitals of Homer’s poetry.

Timaeus by Plato Timaeus

“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...

Phaedrus by Plato Phaedrus

“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 by James Baldwin 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 by John Bunyan 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...

Miscellaneous Pieces by John Bunyan Miscellaneous Pieces

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)

Areopagitica by John Milton Areopagitica

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)

Book cover 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 by Helen Keller 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 by Benjamin Franklin 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...


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