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The Routledge Guides to the Great Books


About the Series

The Routledge Guides to the Great Books provide ideal introductions to the texts which have shaped Western Civilization. The Guidebooks explore the arguments and ideas contained in the most influential works from some of the most brilliant thinkers who have ever lived, from Aristotle to Marx and Newton to Wollstonecraft. Each Guidebook opens with a short introduction to the author of the great book and the context within which they were working and concludes with an examination of the lasting significance of the book. The Routledge Guides to the Great Books will therefore provide students everywhere with complete introductions to the most significant books of all time.

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The Routledge Guidebook to James’s Principles of Psychology

The Routledge Guidebook to James’s Principles of Psychology

Forthcoming

David E Leary
January 26, 2018

The Routledge Guidebook to James’s Principles of Psychology is an engaging and accessible introduction to a monumental text that has influenced the development of both psychological science and philosophical pragmatism in important and lasting ways. Written for readers approaching William James’s...

The Routledge Guidebook to The New Testament

The Routledge Guidebook to The New Testament

Patrick Gray
March 21, 2017

As part of the Christian canon of scripture, the New Testament is one of the most influential works in history. Its impact can be seen in many different fields, but without an awareness of the historical, cultural, social, and intellectual context of early Christianity, it can be difficult for...

The Routledge Guidebook to Foucault's The History of Sexuality

The Routledge Guidebook to Foucault's The History of Sexuality

Chloe Taylor
November 29, 2016

Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality is one of the most influential philosophical works of the twentieth century and has been instrumental in shaping the study of Gender, Feminist Theory and Queer Theory. But Foucault’s writing can be a difficult book to grasp as Foucault assumes a...

The Routledge Guidebook to Augustine's Confessions

The Routledge Guidebook to Augustine's Confessions

Catherine Conybeare
June 23, 2016

Augustine’s Confessions is one of the most significant works of Western culture. Cast as a long, impassioned conversation with God, it is intertwined with passages of life-narrative and with key theological and philosophical insights. It is enduringly popular, and justly so. The Routledge...

The Routledge Guidebook to Machiavelli's The Prince

The Routledge Guidebook to Machiavelli's The Prince

John T. Scott
April 08, 2016

Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince is one of the most influential works in the history of political thought and the adjective Machiavellian is well-known and perhaps even over-used. So why does the meaning of the text continue to be debated to the present day? And how does a contemporary reader get...

The Routledge Guidebook to Aquinas' Summa Theologiae

The Routledge Guidebook to Aquinas' Summa Theologiae

Jason T Eberl
November 17, 2015

The Routledge Guidebook to Aquinas' Summa Theologiae introduces readers to a work which represents the pinnacle of medieval Western scholarship and which has inspired numerous commentaries, imitators, and opposing views. Outlining the main arguments Aquinas utilizes to support his conclusions on...

The Routledge Guidebook to Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling

The Routledge Guidebook to Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling

John Lippitt
November 02, 2015

Søren Kierkegaard is one of the key figures of nineteenth century thought, whose influence on subsequent philosophy, theology and literature is both extensive and profound. Fear and Trembling, which investigates the nature of faith through an exploration of the story of Abraham and Isaac, is one of...

The Routledge Guidebook to Mill's On Liberty

The Routledge Guidebook to Mill's On Liberty

Jonathan Riley
July 16, 2015

John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty is widely regarded as one of the most influential and stirring pieces of political philosophy ever written. Ever relevant in our increasingly surveillance dominated culture, the essay argues strongly in favour of the moral rights of individuality, including rights of...

The Routledge Guidebook to Einstein's Relativity

The Routledge Guidebook to Einstein's Relativity

James Trefil
February 24, 2015

Albert Einstein, one of the most prolific scientists of the twentieth century, developed the theory of relativity which was crucial for the advancement of modern physics. Young Einstein identified a paradox between Newtonian Mechanics and Maxwell’s equations which pointed to a flawed understanding...

The Routledge Guidebook to Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks

The Routledge Guidebook to Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks

John Schwarzmantel
January 15, 2015

Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks are one of the most important and original sources of modern political philosophy but the Prison Notebooks present great difficulties to the reader. Not originally intended for publication, their fragmentary character and their often cryptic language can mystify readers,...

The Routledge Guidebook to Thoreau's Civil Disobedience

The Routledge Guidebook to Thoreau's Civil Disobedience

Bob Pepperman Taylor
December 17, 2014

Since its publication in 1849, Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience has influenced protestors, activists and political thinkers all over the world. Including the full text of Thoreau’s essay, The Routledge Guidebook to Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience explores the context of his writing, analyses...

The Routledge Guidebook to Descartes' Meditations

The Routledge Guidebook to Descartes' Meditations

Gary Hatfield
July 18, 2014

Descartes is widely regarded to be the father of modern philosophy and his Meditations is among the most important philosophical texts ever written. The Routledge Guidebook to Descartes’ Meditations introduces the major themes in Descartes’ great book and acts as a companion for reading this key...

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