Mortimer J. Adler: "The Great Bookie"


Born today was Mortimer Adler

Who discoursed on the Great Books like that of the sad Lear.

On the substance of  matter and form that define us,

On wise Aristotle and my favorite Aquinas.

“If you are reading in order to become a better reader, you cannot read just any book or article. You will not improve as a reader if all you read are books that are well within your capacity. You must tackle books that are beyond you, or, as we have said, books that are over your head. Only books of that sort will make you stretch your mind. And unless you stretch, you will not learn.” [Mortimer Jerome Adler]


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  • I wonder how many have read even one of the "Great Books"?

    Too bad there is not an "app" for them.

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    We are a not-for-profit educational organization founded by Mortimer Adler and we have recently made an exciting discovery—three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos—lively discussing the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

    Three hours with Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren, lively discussing the art of reading, on one DVD. A must for all readers, libraries and classroom teaching the art of reading.

    I cannot exaggerate how instructive these programs are—we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

    Please go here to see a clip and learn more:

    ISBN: 978-1-61535-311-8

    Thank you,

    Max Weismann, Co-founder with Dr. Adler

  • Reportedly, the house I lived in near the U of C was formerly Adler's. We used to get mail addressed to him.

    Also, before I knew how pushy salesmen were, I filled out a card about whether I was interested in the Great Books, and then told the salesman "do you know where you are?"

    I finally decided that it was cheaper to get some of them in paperback at the bookstore.

    To answer Richard, I did, but it was a long time ago, and the only thing I remember is that the humanities professor (after having the class read 4) paired the wrong groups of two together. On his other point, Amazon has a link to "Tell the Publisher!
    I'd like to read this book on Kindle" which indicates that it isn't on app. Also, I guess to keep down competition, Encyclopedia Britannica says who some of the authors are, but not the 519 works contained in it.

  • Jack, it's never too late to begin to read them. Adler lays out a way in his "A Guidebook to Learning for a Lifelong Pursuit of Wisdom."
    Like the pursuit of happiness, it's all in the journey.

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