Great Books by The Learning Channel

"Great Books is an hour-long documentary and biography program that aired on The Learning Channel. The series was a project co-created by Walter Cronkite and former child actor Jonathan Ward under a deal they had with their company Cronkite-Ward, the The Discovery Channel, and The Learning Channel. Premiering on September 8, 1993, to coincide with International Literacy Day, the series took in-depth looks into some of literature's greatest fictional and nonfictional books and the authors who created them. The series is mostly narrated by Donald Sutherland." - Wikipedia

  1. The Odyssey by Homer

    The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the m...


  2. The Republic by Plato

    The Republic is a Socratic dialogue by Plato, written c. 380 B.C.E.. It is one of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory, and Plato's best known work. In Plato's fictional di...


  3. The Art of War by Sun Zi

    Offering ancient wisdom on how to use skill, cunning, tactics and discipline to outwit your opponent, this 2000 year old military manual is still worshipped by soldiers on the battlefield and manag...


  4. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

    Belonging in the immortal company of the great works of literature, Dante Alighieri's poetic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, is a moving human drama, an unforgettable visionary journey through the ...


  5. Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory

    Le Morte d'Arthur (spelled Le Morte Darthur in the first printing and also in some modern editions, Middle French for la mort d'Arthur, "the death of Arthur") is Sir Thomas Malory's compilation of ...


  6. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

    Il Principe (The Prince) is a political treatise by the Florentine public servant and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. Originally called De Principatibus (About Principalities), it was origi...


  7. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

    Alonso Quixano, a retired country gentleman in his fifties, lives in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and a housekeeper. He has become obsessed with books of chivalry, and believes th...


  8. The Bible by Christian Church

    The Authorized King James Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible begun in 1604 and completed in 1611 by the Church of England. Printed by the King's Printer, Robert Barker, the fi...


  9. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems by Galileo

    The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was a 1632 Italian language book by Galileo Galilei comparing the Copernican system with the traditional Ptolemaic system. It was translated to L...


  10. One Thousand and One Nights by India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt

    One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Ni...


  11. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

    From the preeminent prose satirist in the English language, a great classic recounting the four remarkable journeys of ship's surgeon Lemuel Gulliver. For children it remains an enchanting fantasy;...


  12. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    The book is narrated in free indirect speech following the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with matters of upbringing, marriage, moral rightness and education in her aristocratic socie...


  13. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

    At this challenge, Mary Shelley began work on the 'ghost story' that was to evolve into the most celebrated horror novel in literary history. Frankenstein was published the next year and become the...


  14. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

    The narrative is non-linear, involving several flashbacks, and two primary narrators: Mr. Lockwood and Ellen "Nelly" Dean. The novel opens in 1801, with Mr. Lockwood arriving at Thrushcross Grange,...


  15. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Hester Prynne is a beautiful young woman. She is also an outcast. In the eyes of her neighbors she has committed an unforgivable sin. Everyone knows that her little daughter, Pearl, is the product ...


  16. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

    First published in 1851, Melville's masterpiece is, in Elizabeth Hardwick's words, "the greatest novel in American literature." The saga of Captain Ahab and his monomaniacal pursuit of the white wh...


  17. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

    Walden (first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods) is an American book written by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings.


  18. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

    For daring to peer into the heart of an adulteress and enumerate its contents with profound dispassion, the author of Madame Bovary was tried for "offenses against morality and religion." What shoc...


  19. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, published on Thursday 24 November 1859, is a seminal work of scientific literature considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title...


  20. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

    Great Expectations is written in the genre of "bildungsroman" or the style of book that follows the story of a man or woman in their quest for maturity, usually starting from childhood and ending i...


  21. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

    Les Misérables is a novel by French author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters ov...


  22. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

    In 1862 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a shy Oxford mathematician with a stammer, created a story about a little girl tumbling down a rabbit hole. Thus began the immortal adventures of Alice, perhaps th...


  23. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    It is a murder story, told from a murder;s point of view, that implicates even the most innocent reader in its enormities. It is a cat-and-mouse game between a tormented young killer and a cheerful...


  24. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

    Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (French: Vingt mille lieues sous les mers) is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nem...


  25. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

    Revered by all of the town's children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature. Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic worl...


  26. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Spawned by a nightmare that Stevenson had, this classic tale of the dark, primordial night of the soul remains a masterpiece of the duality of good and evil within us all.


  27. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

    The Red Badge of Courage is an 1895 war novel by American author Stephen Crane. It is considered one of the most influential works in American literature. The novel, a depiction on the cruelty of t...


  28. Dracula by Bram Stoker

    Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, featuring as its primary antagonist the vampire Count Dracula. Dracula has been attributed to many literary genres including vampire literat...


  29. War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

    When four Martian space ships land in England, masses of people flee the cities, driven by an overwhelming fear of the alien creatures devastating weapons of death and destruction. Excellently adap...


  30. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud

    This book introduces Freud's theory of the unconscious with respect to dream interpretation. Dreams, in Freud's view, were all forms of "wish-fulfillment" — attempts by the unconscious to resolve a...


  31. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

    The story details an incident when Marlow, an Englishman, took a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a ferry-boat captain in Africa. Although Conrad does not specify the name of th...


  32. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

    The story chronicles the adventures of a girl named Dorothy in the Land of Oz. Thanks in part to the 1939 MGM movie, it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been wid...


  33. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

    1906 best-seller shockingly reveals intolerable labor practices and unsanitary working conditions in the Chicago stockyards as it tells the brutally grim story of a Slavic family that emigrates to ...


  34. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

    The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of short fiction of the 20th century and is widely st...


  35. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the "Jazz Age". Following the shock and chaos of World War I, American society enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the "roar...


  36. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

    All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues) is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book describes the German soldiers' extreme physical and men...


  37. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

    Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers, the Joads, driven from their home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agriculture industry. In a ...


  38. Native Son by Richard Wright

    The novel tells the story of 20-year old Bigger Thomas, an African American living in utter poverty. Bigger lived in Chicago's South Side ghetto in the 1930s. Bigger was always getting into troubl...


  39. The Naked Dead by Norman Mailer

    The Naked and the Dead is a 1948 novel by Norman Mailer. It was based on his experiences and exaggerations of that experience with the 112th Cavalry Regiment during the Philippines Campaign (1944–4...


  40. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell

    The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime's propaganda by falsifying records and political literatur...


  41. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

    2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film. The story...


  42. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

    Lord of the Flies discusses how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of British schoolboys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, but with disastrous results....


  43. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

    Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards, is frequently cite...


  44. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

    Narrated by the gigantic but docile half-Indian "Chief" Bromden, who has pretended to be a deaf-mute for several years, the story focuses on the antics of the rebellious Randle Patrick McMurphy, a ...


  45. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley

    This book describes Malcolm X's upbringing in Michigan, his maturation to adulthood in Boston and New York, his time in prison, his conversion to Islam, his ministry, his travels to Africa and to M...


  46. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

    Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery...


  47. The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

    The Right Stuff is a 1979 book by Tom Wolfe about the pilots engaged in U.S. postwar experiments with experimental rocket-powered, high-speed aircraft as well as documenting the stories of the firs...