This page contains a few handpicked resources for those wishing to begin or continue their study of the Western tradition. (The page is under construction; please be patient.)
Dr. J’s Lectures
If you’d like to learn about the Western tradition in history and literature from me, you have a few options.
- Become a student at Faulkner University and take my classes. I know this is not a realistic option for many, but it may be attractive to some. Prospective graduate students in particular will find much to like in our online Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy programs, which focus on the Great Books and feature concentrations in history, philosophy, and literature.
- Subscribe to Tom Woods’s Liberty Classroom and get access to 84 of my lectures (with accompanying discussion forums where I answer students’ questions) on the history of Western civilization, as well as 30 of my lectures on the history of conservatism and libertarianism. You’ll also get a dozen other full lecture series on topics like science fiction and fantasy literature (Professor Brad Birzer), the history of economic thought (Professor Bob Murphy), Austrian economics (Professor Jeffrey Herbener), logic (Professor Gerard Casey), American history (Professors Tom Woods, Kevin Gutzman, and Brion McClanahan), the U.S. Constitution (Gutzman and McClanahan), and the American Revolution (Gutzman).
If you want to get into the Western cultural heritage, but are intimidated by the prospect of reading big, scary works; or if you tried once to read Moby Dick or the Iliad and just didn’t “get it,” I suggest you get a copy of Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book. This book is not for dummies; it provides you with serious analytical tools to use in wrestling with the great works of Western civilization, or of any other civilization for that matter. I have made a series of posts on the value of this work (here, here, here, and here).
Translations: One question that often comes up is which translation of a classic work of literature is best. A problem with the public-domain translations available for free on the internet is that they usually date from the 18th or 19th century and may not be very accessible to 21st-century readers. This is especially true for poetic literature. So here are translation recommendations for those willing to spend a few dollars in exchange for an easier read of a few really essential works.