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153 Summerlight Drive

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condition: excellent

Original owner since 1969. These books are a treasure of learning for a lifetime! All 54 books of the 1952 edition are here and are all in fabulous condition. This set is priceless to complete your liberal education, for your high school age kids or those who have an interest in the greatest works of the western world.

The following is quoted from Wikipedia, and is an excellent introduction to these books:

"The original editors had three criteria for including a book in the series: the book must be relevant to contemporary matters, and not only important in its historical context; it must be rewarding to re-read; and it must be a part of "the great conversation about the great ideas", relevant to at least 25 of the 102 great ideas identified by the editors. The books were not chosen on the basis of ethnic and cultural inclusiveness, historical influence, or the editors' agreement with the views expressed by the authors.

The project for the Great Books of the Western World began at the University of Chicago, where the president, Robert Hutchins, collaborated with Mortimer Adler to develop a course--generally aimed at businesspeople--for the purpose of filling the gaps in their liberal education; to render the reader as an intellectually rounded man or woman familiar with the Great Books of the Western canon, and knowledgeable of the great ideas developed in the course of three millennia. An original student of the project was William Benton (later a U.S. senator, and then chief executive officer of the Encyclopædia Britannica publishing company) who proposed selecting the greatest books of the Western canon, and that Hutchins and Adler produce unabridged editions for publication, by Encyclopædia Britannica. Yet, Hutchins was wary of such a business endeavour, fearing that the books would be sold as a product, thereby devaluing them as cultural artefacts; nevertheless, he agreed to the business deal, and was paid $60,000 for the project.

After deciding what subjects and authors to include, and how to present the materials, the project was begun, with a budget of $2,000,000. On April 15, 1952, the Great Books of the Western World were presented at a publication party in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, in New York City. In his speech, Hutchins said, "This is more than a set of books, and more than a liberal education. Great Books of the Western World is an act of piety. Here are the sources of our being. Here is our heritage. This is the West. This is its meaning for mankind." The first two sets of books were given to Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, and to Harry S. Truman, the incumbent U.S. President."
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