Recommended Resources

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).

Recommended Books:

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.

Homer’s Iliad (Robert Fagles)
Homer’s Odyssey (Robert Fagles)
Virgil’s Aeneid (Robert Fagles)
Dante’s Divine Comedy (Anthony Esolen): Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise

9 Responses to Recommended Resources

  1. natalma says:

    I have the 1952 edition of the GREAT BOOKS… My local library has the same edition. I am going to have to supplement with other sources in order to follow the program. Could someone please provide me with a one or two good examples of internet sources of such readings? I have found the Library of Liberty on line which combined with my public library may be all I need, but it wouldn’t hurt to have one or two more sources. It’s over an hour to the next library and I am a bit lazy in my old age!

    • Dr. J says:

      My weekly posts link to electronic texts whenever I can find them. Your local public library can get practically any title you wish via Interlibrary Loan for the ones you can’t find electronically.

  2. Cheryl says:

    Hello! I own this set of books, they were given to me years ago by a friend. Have been looking for a good home for them, and stumbled across this website. I will give them away, maybe just for help with the shipping?

    • Jeff M. says:

      Hey Cheryl, I am in need of these books and am interested if they are still available. Please reply here if they are, then I will reply with a contact email so we can work out the details. Thanks! -Jeff M.

  3. Jay says:

    Hi Cheryl, Thank you for your post. I am very interested in the set for our library. Please contact me at Thanks again, Jay
    . .

  4. Lou says:

    Hi Cheryl, Have you found a good home for your book set? Thanks!

  5. William says:

    Hi Dr. J, Do you recommend the Faulkner Master of Arts program over your seven year reading plan for those chiefly interested in absorbing the Great Tradition?

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