Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grooming Deals Gifts Under $50 Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Black Friday Deals Shop Now DOTD

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Great Books of the Western World 2nd Edition

46 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0852295311
ISBN-10: 0852295316
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $87.71
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Due Date: May 29, 2016 Rental Details
FREE return shipping at the end of the semester.
In Stock. Rented from Amazon Warehouse Deals , Fulfilled by Amazon
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with rentals.
List Price: $995.00 Save: $398.00 (40%)
To Rent, select Shipping State from options above
More Buying Choices
9 New from $794.99 15 Used from $216.01
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more


Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 37000 pages
  • Publisher: Encyclopedia Britannica, Incorporated; 2nd edition (1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0852295316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852295311
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 17.5 x 17.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 98.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

178 of 185 people found the following review helpful By Empedocles on August 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Well, how does one start with an introduction to what the title already says - 'The Great Books of the Western World?' The 'GBBWW' (as they are called) more or less form what Mortimer Adler and his editorial team believed were the core of Western learning and culture, and I pretty much agree. Virtually every book in this collection is required reading in the Liberal Arts, and the ideas and issues discussed by these authors still dominates and influences debate today. Here we see the finest works of Art, Science, Philosophy, Poetry, Prose and History from the time of the Greeks until the early 20th century.

I have noticed other collections of great books often include mediocre and more obscure works which, while important in their historical context, are not part of what Adler described as the 'timeless conversation of ideas' that undergirds Western civilisation. Other collections of 'great books' more often reflect the compiler's or editor's cultural prejudices (though I know the same could be said for Adler, a 'Dead White Male') and frankly, a lot of chaff is in with the wheat. In one list for example, over 50% of the books were novels from the 20th century. The good thing about the 'Great Books' in this collection is that they are 'battle-tested' - Adler went to experts in the respective fields and asked them which works had survived the test of time, and which had not, and those that had 'made the grade.'

The other excellent thing is Adler's 'syntopicon of Great Ideas' and his extensive Bibliography at the end. The syntopicon and Bibliography together are almost a liberal education in themselves.
Read more ›
16 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
138 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Roberto Roose on April 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Some 15 years ago, I bought the 54 volume version of the great books of the western civilization -and spent ten years reading them (aside from making a living and raising two children). These books have affected my life in various ways, all very positive I believe. If my comment can at least encourage one person in the world to go ahead and read this extraordinary collection, I would be very happy. The publishers have been wise in avoiding footnotes and erudite biographical notes, and of course, in the selection of the works. R Roose from Mexico City
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
98 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Hermogenes on February 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Let's be honest about these books. The print is cramped, the translations are hideous, and the selections are indeed rooted in a view of Great Books and Great Ideas that, while still quite vibrant, is less robust than it was in 1955. But no one in full control of their senses would sit down and read from cover to cover the Dante, the Homer, the Aristotle found in this set.

All true. But none of that matters. What you are buying here is the first three volumes (especially volumes 2 & 3) and their attendant reference set. I've owned the set for 20 years and found it invaluable because of those three first volumes. Here's how they work:

Volume 1, The Great Conversation, is essentially an inspirational text centered on the importance of a broad Liberal Education, as set against other views of education. You may take or leave it. The treasure house is the next two volumes.

The Syntopicon (volumes 2-3 of the set) is an index of 100 fundamental concepts that built the Euromerican mind and cultural vision. To give you an idea, here is a sample of the Great Ideas:
Art, Beauty, Cause, Chance, Democracy, Desire, Emotion, Eternity, Family, God, Good and Evil, Government, Habit, Happiness, History, Immortality, Infinity, Justice, Labor, Language, Life and Death, Love, Mathematics, Matter, Memory, Oligarchy, Progress, Prophecy, Quantity, Religion, Rhetoric, Sin, Soul, State, Time, Truth. War and Peace, Wisdom.... you get the idea: Big Ideas.

Each of the 100 ideas is introduced with a brief essay that explains it and attempts to sketch out how it has been viewed throughout Western history. The essays are not dumbed down, but most of them are perfectly accessible to most of us.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
66 of 71 people found the following review helpful By R. Hartnett on May 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This edition of the great books contains a welcome inclusion of some of the most important thinkers and writers of the 20th century. However, the manufacturing quality of the books themselves leaves a great deal to be desired. First of all, the block of pages is glued to the binding and has started to separate from their spines after just a few (and I mean no more than 3) reading sessions.

The book pages are thin and somewhat flimsy. I owned a set of the 54-volume cloth-bound first (1952) edition and the bookcase which came with them. I still have the bookcase and put this 60-volume set in it. The 60 volumes of this second edition take up much less shelf space than the 54-volume set. That's how much thinner is the paper on which the books are now printed.

The covers of the books feel like they are made of some kind of paper board. They just feel cheap in in my hands.

In short, you might want the set for its content, but don't expect a production quality reflective its intrinsic value.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews