Great Books

Great Books

By David Denby

Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9780684835334, 496pp.

Publication Date: September 25, 1997

At the age of forty-eight, writer and film critic David Denby returned to Columbia University and re-enrolled in two core courses in Western civilization to confront the literary and philosophical masterpieces -- the "great books" -- that are now at the heart of the culture wars. In "Great Books, " he leads us on a glorious tour, a rediscovery and celebration of such authors as Homer and Boccaccio, Locke and Nietzsche. Conrad and Woolf. The resulting personal odyssey is an engaging blend of self-discovery, cultural commentary, reporting, criticism, and autobiography -- an inspiration for anyone in love with the written word.

About the Author
David Denby is the author of "Great Books, "an acclaimed account of returning to college and reading the Western classics during the curriculum wars"; American Sucker, " "Snark, "and "Do the Movies Have a Future? "He is a staff writer and former film critic for "The New Yorker, " and his reviews and essays have appeared in "The New Republic", "The Atlantic", and "New York" magazine, among other places. He lives in New York City with his wife, writer Susan Rieger.

Praise For Great Books

Joyce Carol Oates
The New York Times Book Review

A lively adventure of the mind....The tone of the one of unqualified enthusiasm: energy, vigor, intellectual curiosity, and what might be called an ecstasy of imaginative journalism.

Jane Smiley
Chicago Tribune Books

He sustains a variety of tone, subject matter and approach that keeps Great Books alluring and readable throughout...I was torn between getting out a copy of the book he had just discussed and reading it and going on with Denby. In every case. I went on with Denby.

Tracy Kidder

What Mr. Denby has written is a book filled with keen literary and social observation, which captures the excitement of exploration and discovery. This is a wonderful book.