In the early spring of 1845, Henry David Thoreau built and lived in a cabin near the shore of Walden Pond in rural Massachusetts. For the next two years, he enacted his own Transcendentalist experiment, living a simple life based on self-reliance, individualism, and harmony with nature. The journal he kept at that time evolved into his masterwork, Walden, an eloquent expression of a uniquely American philosophy.
"Outstanding Reading of a Classic"
Franklin’s Autobiography, one of the most regarded works in early American literature, began as a private collection of anecdotes for his son, but was soon transformed from reflective personal journaling into a work of national history. Filled with the inimitable nuances & wit of the inventor, philosopher, scientist and statesman, this engaging narration of Benjamin Franklin’s classic is as certain to delight modern readers as it did with his original audience.
"Wisely written and mesmerizingly read"
The first volume of Will Durant's Pulitzer Prize-winning series, Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization, Volume I chronicles the early history of Egypt, the Middle East, and Asia.
William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, far different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments.
Among the autobiographies of great military figures, Ulysses S. Grant’s is certainly one of the finest, and it is arguably the most notable literary achievement of any American president: a lucid, compelling, and brutally honest chronicle of triumph and failure. From his frontier boyhood, to his heroics in battle, to the grinding poverty from which the Civil War ironically rescued him, these memoirs are a mesmerizing, deeply moving account of a brilliant man told with great courage.
"What makes a great commander?? Read this book"
One of the great innovators in American letters, Walt Whitman created a daringly new kind of poetry that became a major force in world literature. Leaves of Grass is his masterpiece, written in a pure, uninhibited style, combining sensual and mystical sensibilities. Its bold, joyous voice, its expansive optimism, and its transcendental vision made it uniquely American.
Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology, published in three parts from 1794, was a best seller in America, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. Promoting a creator-God while advocating reason in the place of revelation, Paine’s controversial pamphlet caused his native British audience, fearing the results of the French Revolution, to receive it with more hostility than their American counterparts.
"Amazed by the energy, originality & bravery"
The Origin of Species sold out on the first day of its publication in 1859. It is the major book of the 19th century and one of the most readable and accessible of the great revolutionary works of the scientific imagination. Though, in fact, little read, most people know what it says—at least they think they do. The Origin of Species was the first mature and persuasive work to explain how species change through the process of natural selection. Upon its publication, the book began to transform attitudes about society and religion.
"Best way to read the classic!"
These stories display Twain's place in American letters as a master writer in the authentic native idiom. He was exuberant and irreverent, but underlying the humor was a vigorous desire for social justice and a pervasive equalitarian attitude.
"Great but incomplete"
Pinocchio, The Tale of a Puppet is a novel for children by Carlo Collodi is about the mischievous adventures of Pinocchio, an animated marionette, and his poor father, woodcarver Geppetto. It is considered a classic of children's literature and has spawned many derivative works of art. This is not the story we've seen in film, but the original version - full of harrowing adventures faced by Pinocchio.
A mere 18 years of age when his uncle, Julius Caesar, is murdered, Octavius Caesar prematurely inherits rule of the Roman Republic. Surrounded by men who are jockeying for power—Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, and Mark Antony—young Octavius must work against the powerful Roman political machinations to claim his destiny as first Roman emperor. Sprung from meticulous research and the pen of a true poet, Augustus tells the story of one man’s dream to liberate a corrupt Rome.
"The son of Caesar calls to you."
Published together for the first time are three of Ayn Rand's compelling stage plays. The courtroom drama Night of January 16th, a 1935 Broadway success famous for leaving the verdict to the audience, is presented here in its definitive, final revised text - a superb dramatization of Rand's vision of human strengths and weaknesses.
In his groundbreaking and controversial book The DIM Hypothesis, Dr. Leonard Peikoff casts a penetrating new light on the process of human thought and thereby on Western culture and history. In this far-reaching study, Peikoff identifies the three methods people use to integrate concrete data into a whole, as when connecting diverse experiments by a scientific theory, separate laws into a constitution, or single events into a story.
In A Tramp Abroad, the ever adventurous Mark Twain brings his wit and creativity to his travels in Europe. Twain takes fictional liberty, turning his travels into an entertaining journey as he visits many of the countries of Central Europe. Listeners are sure to be delighted and humored as they enjoy what is considered by many to be one of Mark Twain's best works.
"Fun slices of Twain's life"
A collection of letters Mark Twain wrote for a newspaper publication - from a long, turbulent journey to the island to his encounters with the islanders and the myriad Englishmen who have taken up residence on the island.
Originally conceived as a novel but then transformed into a play by Ayn Rand, Ideal is the story of beautiful but tormented actress Kay Gonda. Accused of murder, she is on the run and turns for help to six fans who have written letters to her, each telling her that she represents their ideal - a respectable family man, a far-left activist, a cynical artist, an evangelist, a playboy, and a lost soul.
When I am grown to man’s estate. I shall be very proud and great. And tell the other girls and boys. Not to meddle with my toys. Thus reads the whimsical, “Looking Forward,” of this delightful collection. From the sweetness of “Land of Nod,” to the imaginative dreams of “Pirate Story” and “Travels,” Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved poems celebrate childhood in all its simplicity and joy.
When a jealous Zeus discovers that the compassionate Titan, Prometheus, has introduced the gift of fire to liberate mere mortals from oppression and servitude, he has Prometheus bound to a rocky prison in the Scythian desert, where the god discloses the reason for his punishment.
"A one-man show"
Pierre Glendinning is the 19-year-old heir to the manor at Saddle Meadows in upstate New York. Engaged to the blonde Lucy Tartan in a match approved by his domineering mother, Pierre encounters the dark and mysterious Isabel Banford, who claims to be his half sister, the illegitimate and orphaned child of his father and a European refugee. Driven by his magnetic attraction to Isabel, Pierre devises a remarkable scheme to preserve his father's name, spare his mother's grief, and give Isabel her share of the estate.
"To Calvin H. Higbie, of California, an honest man, a genial comrade and a steadfast friend," this book is inscribed by the author, "in memory of the curious time when we two were millionaires for ten days." So the witty Mark Twain dedicates his second travelogue and charming SEMI-sequel to The Innocents Abroad.