Great Ideas

The Great Ideas Series began in 1995 and continued through to 2010, comprising five series of twenty books apiece. Each series is associated with a color: the first red, the second blue, the third green, the fourth purple, and finally the fifth with orange. Texts are provided with minimal introduction or annotation, and are distinctive because of their embossed, artistic front covers. The American series were heavily truncated and, unlike the original British, does not include a numbered checklist.

1  On the Shortness of Life Seneca
2  Meditations Marcus Aurelius
3  Confessions of a Sinner Augustine
4  The Inner Life Thomas à Kempis
5  The Prince Niccolò Machiavelli
6  On Friendship Michel de Montaigne
7  A Tale of a Tub Jonathan Swift
8  The Social Contract Jean-Jacques Rousseau
9  The Christians and the Fall of Rome Edward Gibbon
10  Common Sense Thomas Paine
11  A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Mary Wollstonecraft
12  On the Pleasure of Hating William Hazlitt
13  The Communist Manifesto Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
14  On the Suffering of the World Arthur Schopenhauer
15  On Art and Life John Ruskin
16  On Natural Selection Charles Darwin
17  Why I Am So Wise Friedrich Nietzsche
18  A Room of One’s Own Virginia Woolf
19  Civilization and Its Discontents Sigmund Freud
20  Why I Write George Orwell
21  The First Ten Books Confucius
22  The Art of War Sun Tzu
23  The Symposium Plato
24  Sensation and Sex Lucretius
25  An Attack on the Enemy of Freedom Cicero
26  The Revelation of St John the Divine and The Book of Job
27  Travels in the Land of Kubliai Khan Marco Polo
28  The City of Ladies Christine de Pizan
29  How to Achieve True Greatness Baldesar Castiglione
30  Of Empire Francis Bacon
31  Of Man Thomas Hobbes
32  Urne-Burial Sir Thomas Browne
33  Miracles and Idolatry Voltaire
34  On Suicide David Hume
35  On the Nature of War Carl von Clausewitz
36  Fear and Trembling Søren Kierkegaard
37  Where I Lived, and What I Lived For Henry David Thoreau
38  Conspicuous Consumption Thorstein Veblen
39  The Myth of Sisyphus Albert Camus
40  Eichmann and the Holocaust Hannah Arendt
41  In Consolation to his Wife Plutarch
42  Some Anatomies of Melancholy Robert Burton
43  Human Happiness Blaise Pascal
44  The Invisible Hand Adam Smith
45  The Evils of Revolution Edmund Burke
46  Nature Ralph Waldo Emerson
47  The Sickness Unto Death Søren Kierkegaard
48  The Lamp of Memory John Ruskin
49  Man Alone with Himself Friedrich Nietzsche
50  A Confession Leo Tolstoy
51  Useful Work versus Useless Toil William Morris
52  The Significance of the Frontier in American History Frederick Jackson Turner
53  Days of Reading Marcel Proust
54  An Appeal to the Toiling, Oppressed and Exhausted Peoples of Europe Leon Trotsky
55  The Future of an Illusion Sigmund Freud
56  The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Walter Benjamin
57 Books v. Cigarettes George Orwell
58  The Fastidious Assassins Albert Camus
59  Concerning Violence Frantz Fanon
60  The Spectacle of the Scaffold Michel Foucault
61  Tao Te Ching Lao-Tzu
62  Writings from the Zen Masters Various
63  Utopia Thomas More
64  On Solitude Michel de Montaigne
65  On Power William Shakespeare
66  Of the Abuse of Words John Locke
67  Consolation in the Face of Death Samuel Johnson
68  An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment? Immanuel Kant
69  The Executioner Joseph de Maistre
70  Confessions of an English Opium-Eater Thomas de Quincey
71  The Horrors and Absurdities of Religion Arthur Schopenhauer
72  The Gettysburg Address Abraham Lincoln
73  Revolution and War Karl Marx
74  The Grand Inquisitor Fyodor Dostoyevsky
75  On A Certain Blindness in Human Beings William James
76  An Apology for Idlers Robert Louis Stevenson
77  Of the Dawn of Freedom W.E.B. Du Bois
78  Thoughts of Peace in an Air Raid Virginia Woolf
79  Decline of the English Murder George Orwell
80  Why Look at Animals? John Berger
81  The Tao of Nature Chuang Tzu
82  Of Human Freedom Epictetus
83  On Conspiracies Niccolò Machiavelli
84  Meditations René Descartes
85  Dialogue Between Fashion and Death Giacomo Leopardi
86  On Liberty John Stuart Mill
87  Hosts of Living Forms Charles Darwin
88  Night Walks Charles Dickens
89  Some Extraordinary Popular Delusions Charles Mackay
90  The State as a Work of Art Jacob Burckhardt
91  Silly Novels by Lady Novelists George Eliot
92  The Painter of Modern Life Charles Baudelaire
93  The ‘Wolfman’ Sigmund Freud
94  The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
95  Nationalism Rabindranath Tagore
96  Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
97  We Will All Go Down Fighting to the End Winston Churchill
98  The Perpetual Race of Achilles and the Tortoise Jorge Luis Borges
99  Some Thoughts on the Common Toad George Orwell
100  An Image of Africa Chinua Achebe

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