Great Books Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Great Books

The author, a longtime film critic, registered for the "Great Books" course at Columbia as a successful middle-aged journalist, to see what effect the culture wars had had on the academy, and to read a lot of famous classic works he had never encountered: Dante, Cervantes, Homer, Sappho, Hume, Montaigne, and so on. But he doesn't just summarize or even necessarily argue with mere texts; he tries to see what they might have to say to people today. The chapter on "King Lear," for example, goes into some depth about the death of Denby's father and its emotional repercussions. An inspiring read and spirited defense of "Western civilization."
Click here to see the rest of this review

The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Great Books

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   general liberal/left wing activism    -   women fighting for rights    -   racism!!!!    -   religious issues Family, loving relations    -   Yes Special relationship with    -   father Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   40's-50's


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   little dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Great Books

David Denby Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian