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MODERNS YEAR: Study Guide for the First Semester Moderns Year
Price: 49.95

Study Guides for the Moderns Year (1st Semester)
MODERNS YEAR: Study Guide for the Second Semester Moderns Year
Price: 49.95

These Study Guides are meant to be a companion to the Academy’s Great Books selections [organized in the manner of a four-year, eight-semester program at the secondary or college level]. In putting it together we were guided by two principles: 1) that we approach each work on its own terms in an effort to be faithful to its meaning and 2) that we also be aware of the larger tradition out of which the work came and which sets the terms, methods, and forms of the work. We wanted to avoid inserting any beliefs or opinions of our own on the work. We also wanted to do justice, where we could, to the deeper level of meaning that comes from seeing a work in the context of the tradition—science, philosophy, history, and literature—from which it was produced.
MODERNS YEAR: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume
Price: 19.95

A landmark of Enlightenment thought, Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is accompanied here by two shorter works that shed light on it: A Letter from a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh, Hume's response to those accusing him of atheism, of advocating extreme skepticism, and of undermining the foundations of morality; and his Abstract of A Treatise of Human Nature, which anticipates discussions developed in the Enquiry. In his concise Introduction, Eric Steinberg explores the conditions that led Hume to write the Enquiry and the work's important relationship to Book I of Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature.
MODERNS YEAR: Sourcebook for U.S. Documents
Price: 19.95

Features a complete index and vocabulary to the series, as well as a collection of 94 primary sources relating the U.S. history that will make every history lover ecstatic. This sourcebook traces the development of the fundamental ideals on which our society is based: free speech and a free press, religious toleration, due process of law, racial equality, and government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Beginning with the Magna Carta and concluding with a speech delivered by President Ronald Reagan at Moscow State University in 1988--celebrating the spread of American ideals of freedom at the end of the Cold War--this sourcebook allows students to analyze the charter documents of American freedom. These include our society's basic constitutional documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, landmark Supreme Court decisions from Marbury v. Madison to the Pentagon Papers case, the most influential presidential addresses, and documents illuminating the experience of the diverse groups that make up our society.
MODERNS YEAR: Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
Price: 19.95

The Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft), first published in 1781 with a second edition in 1787, is widely regarded as the most influential and widely read work of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant and one of the most influential and important in the entire history of Western philosophy. It is often referred to as Kant's "first critique", and was followed by the Critique of Practical Reason and the Critique of Judgment. Regarded as a ground-breaking work in Western philosophy, Kant saw the first critique as an attempt to bridge the gap between rationalism and empiricism and, in particular, to counter the radical empiricism of David Hume.
MODERNS YEAR: On the Origin of Inequality - Jean by Jacques Rousseau
Price: 19.95

Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one of the most influential thinkers during the Enlightenment in eighteenth century Europe. His first major philosophical work, A Discourse on the Sciences and Arts, was the winning response to an essay contest conducted by the Academy of Dijon in 1750. In this work, Rousseau argues that the progression of the sciences and arts has caused the corruption of virtue and morality. This discourse won Rousseau fame and recognition, and it laid much of the philosophical groundwork for a second, longer work, The Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. The second discourse did not win the Academy's prize, but like the first, it was widely read and further solidified Rousseau's place as a significant intellectual figure. The central claim of the work is that human beings are basically good by nature, but were corrupted by the complex historical events that resulted in present day civil society. Rousseau's praise of nature is a theme that continues throughout his later works as well, the most significant of which include his comprehensive work on the philosophy of education, the Emile, and his major work on political philosophy, The Social Contract: both published in 1762. These works caused great controversy in France and were immediately banned by Paris authorities. Rousseau fled France and settled in Switzerland, but he continued to find difficulties with authorities and quarrel with friends. The end of Rousseau's life was marked in large part by his growing paranoia and his continued attempts to justify his life and his work. This is especially evident in his later books, The Confessions, The Reveries of the Solitary Walker, and Rousseau: Judge of Jean-Jacques. Rousseau greatly influenced Immanuel Kant's work on ethics. His novel Julie or the New Heloise impacted the late eighteenth century's Romantic Naturalism movement, and his political ideals were championed by leaders of the French Revolution.
MODERNS YEAR: Phaedra by Racine
Price: 19.95

As the play opens, Hippolytus announces to Theramenes, his tutor and friend, his intention of leaving Troezen. Hippolytus is the son of Theseus, king of Troezen and Athens, by his first love, the Amazon Antiope. Theseus is now married to Phaedra, the daughter of his old enemy, Minos of Crete, but he has been gone from Troezen now for more than six months, and his son is determined to go in search of him. Theramenes disapproves; since Theseus' amorous exploits are legendary, he may not want to be found. Hippolytus abruptly cuts off this disrespectful allusion to his father, and says that since his marriage to Phaedra, Theseus has been faithful to her. Duty requires he go look for his father, and he also has reasons of his own for leaving Troezen. Hippolytus' stepmother, Phaedra, has hated him from the first moment she saw him and has spared no effort to make life difficult for him, even driving him into exile in Troezen. But Phaedra has lately been ill to the point of death and Hippolytus should have nothing to fear from her. Hippolytus replies that it is not Phaedra who troubles him but Aricia, princess of a former ruling family of Athens who is now half-ward, half-prisoner of Theseus. Theramenes says he is sorry Hippolytus does not like her, for she is an innocent and charming girl. Hippolytus replies enigmatically, "If I hated her I would not flee her." Theramenes seizes upon the implication and is delighted that Hippolytus, who has never before shown an interest in a woman and who is famous for his chastity, is in love. Hippolytus immediately rejects the idea that he might allow himself to love Aricia. As a child he used to thrill to tales of his father's exploits and his conquest of monsters, but when the gossip turned to his feminine conquestshis kidnapping of Helen, his desertion of Periboea, his elopement with Phaedra's sister, Ariadne, and his later abandonment of her Hippolytus could not help feeling shocked and ashamed. Theseus' light behavior was somewhat excused by his other heroic deeds, but Hippolytus, who has accomplished no such exploits as yet has no such excuse. Moreover, Theseus, fearing to raise up enemies against his regime, has forbidden Aricia to marry and have children. He would certainly not be willing to have her marry his own son. Theramenes is dubious. Love comes to all men, he says; Venus wills it, and when it comes it is nearly irresistible. Why fight such a pleasant emotion, provoked by the gods and approved by them. Firmly, Hippolytus cuts him off. He is determined to leave Troezen. Oenone, nurse to Phaedra, appears.
MODERNS YEAR: Representative Government by J.S. Mill
Price: 29.95

From the book....THOSE who have done me the honour of reading my previous writings will probably receive no strong impression of novelty from the present volume; for the principles are those to which I have been working up during the greater part of my life, and most of the practical suggestions have been anticipated by others or by myself. There is novelty, however, in the fact of bringing them together, and exhibiting them in their connection; and also, I believe, in much that is brought forward in their support. Several of the opinions at all events, if not new, are for the present as little likely to meet with general acceptance as if they were. It seems to me, however, from various indications, and from none more than the recent debates on Reform of Parliament, that both Conservatives and Liberals (if I may continue to call them what they still call themselves) have lost confidence in the political creeds which they nominally profess, while neither side appears to have made any progress in providing itself with a better. Yet such a better doctrine must be possible; not a mere compromise, by splitting the difference between the two, but something wider than either, which, in virtue of its superior comprehensiveness, might be adopted by either Liberal or Conservative without renouncing anything which he really feels to be valuable in his own creed. When so many feel obscurely the want of such a doctrine, and so few even flatter themselves that they have attained it, any one may without presumption offer what his own thoughts, and the best that he knows of those of others, are able to contribute towards its formation.
MODERNS YEAR: Emma by Jane Austen
Price: 19.95

Jane Austen began to write Emma in January of 1814 and finished it a little over a year later, in March of 1815. At the time of completion, Austen was thirty-nine years old. Emma was published at the end of 1815, with 2,000 copies being printed 563, more than a quarter, were still unsold after four years. She earned less than forty pounds from the book during her lifetime, though it earned more after her death. Austen died a year and a half after publication. Emma was Austen's fourth published novel, and the last to appear before her death. Both Persuasion and Northanger Abbey would be published posthumously. Though she published anonymously, her previous works were noticed by critics and literature lovers. One of her admirers was H.R.H. The Prince Regent. Through the prince's librarian, Austen was invited to dedicate one of her works to the prince, she complied to the royal command in the dedication of Emma though her reluctance to do so is apparent in the wording of the dedication.
MODERNS YEAR: Life of Samuel Johnson by Boswell
Price: 22.95

In Boswell's "Life of Samuel Johnson", one of the towering figures of English literature is revealed with unparalleled immediacy and originality. While Johnson's Dictionary remains a monument of scholarship, and his essays and criticism command continuing respect, we owe our knowledge of the man himself to this biography. Through a series of wonderfully detailed anecdotes, Johnson emerges as a sociable figure with a huge appetite for life, crossing swords with other great eighteenth-century luminaries, from Garrick and Goldsmith to Burney and Burke - even his long-suffering friend and disciple James Boswell.Yet Johnson had a vulnerable, even tragic, side and anxieties and obsessions haunted his private hours. Boswell's sensitivity and insight into every facet of his subject's character ultimately make this biography as moving as it is entertaining. Based on the 1799 edition, Christopher Hibbert's abridgement preserves the integrity of the original, while his fascinating introduction sets Boswell's view of Samuel Johnson against that of others of the time.
MODERNS YEAR: Democracy in America by De Tocqueville
Price: 19.95

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59) came to America in 1831 to see what a great republic was like. What struck him most was the country's equality of conditions, its democracy. The book he wrote on his return to France, Democracy in America, is both the best ever written on democracy and the best ever written on America. It remains the most often quoted book about the United States, not only because it has something to interest and please everyone, but also because it has something to teach everyone.When it was published in 2000, Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop's new translation of Democracy in America—only the third since the original two-volume work was published in 1835 and 1840—was lauded in all quarters as the finest and most definitive edition of Tocqueville's classic thus far. Mansfield and Winthrop have restored the nuances of Tocqueville's language, with the expressed goal "to convey Tocqueville's thought as he held it rather than to restate it in comparable terms of today." The result is a translation with minimal interpretation, but with impeccable annotations of unfamiliar references and a masterful introduction placing the work and its author in the broader contexts of political philosophy and statesmanship.
MODERNS YEAR: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by David Hume
Price: 19.95

In Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion Hume explores whether religious belief can be rational. Because Hume is an empiricist (i.e. someone who thinks that all knowledge comes through experience), he thinks that a belief is rational only if it is sufficiently supported by experiential evidence. So the question is really, is there enough evidence in the world to allow us to infer an infinitely good, wise, powerful, perfect God? Hume does not ask whether we can rationally prove that God exists, but rather whether we can rationally come to any conclusions about God's nature. He asserts that the first question is beyond doubt; the latter is initially undecided.
MODERNS YEAR: The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Price: 15.95

The bard's final play, containing his mature reflections on life, concerns Prospero, a philosophical old magician, and Miranda, his lovely daughter, who dwell in peaceful isolation on an enchanted island. When a shipwreck brings old enemies to shore, the stage is set for a masterly drama of comedy, romance, and reconciliation. Includes the unabridged text of Shakespeare's classic play plus a complete study guide that helps readers gain a thorough understanding of the work's content and context. The comprehensive guide includes scene-by-scene summaries, explanations and discussions of the plot, question-and-answer sections, author biography, analytical paper topics, list of characters, bibliography, and more.
MODERNS YEAR: Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume
Price: 18.95

It is therefore certain, that the imagination reaches a minimum, and may raise up to itself an idea, of which it cannot conceive any sub-division, and which cannot be diminished without a total annihilation. When you tell me of the thousandth and ten thousandth part of a grain of sand, I have a, distinct idea of these numbers and of their different proportions; but the images, which I form in my mind to represent the things themselves, are nothing different from each other, nor inferior to that image, by which I represent the grain of sand itself, which is supposed so vastly to exceed them. What consists of parts is distinguishable into them, and what is distinguishable is separable. But whatever we may imagine of the thing, the idea of a grain of sand is not distinguishable, nor separable into twenty, much less into a thousand, ten thousand, or an infinite number of different ideas.
MODERNS YEAR: Essay Concerning Human Knowledge by John Locke
Price: 24.95

Published in 1689, John Locke's pioneering investigation into the origins, certainty, and extent of human knowledge set the groundwork for modern philosophy and influenced psychology, literature, political theory, and other areas of human thought and expression.
MODERNS YEAR: Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Price: 16.95

Regarded as the preeminent prose satirist in the English language, Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) intended this masterpiece, as he once wrote Alexander Pope, to "vex the world rather than divert it." Savagely ironic, it portrays man as foolish at best, and at worst, not much more than an ape. The direct and unadorned narrative describes four remarkable journies of ship's surgeon Lemuel Gulliver, among them, one to the land of Lilliput, where six-inch-high inhabitants bicker over trivialities; and another to Brobdingnag, a land where giants reduce man to insignificance. Written with disarming simplicity and careful attention to detail, this classic is diverse in its appeal: for children, it remains an enchanting fantasy. For adults, it is a witty parody of political life in Swift's time and a scathing send-up of manners and morals in 18th-century England.
MODERNS YEAR: Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Price: 16.95

There is arguably no work of fiction quoted as often as William Shakespeare's Hamlet. This haunting tragedy has touched audiences for centuries. In addition to the play, this edition includes an overview of Shakespeare's life; commentary by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Carolyn Heilbrun, and others; a stage and screen history; and many other features to help the reader understand and enjoy this incomparable classic.
MODERNS YEAR: King Lear by William Shakespeare
Price: 14.95

Powerful tragedy of an aging king, betrayed by his daughters, robbed of his kingdom, descending into madness. Perhaps the bleakest of Shakespeare's tragic dramas, it explores themes of filial ingratitude, injustice, wretchedness and the meaninglessness of life with unsurpassed power and depth. Includes the unabridged text of Shakespeare's classic play plus a complete study guide that helps readers gain a thorough understanding of the work's content and context. The comprehensive guide includes scene-by-scene summaries, explanations and discussions of the plot, question-and-answer sections, author biography, analytical paper topics, list of characters, bibliography, and more.
MODERNS YEAR: Letter on Toleration by John Locke
Price: 12.95

The basis of social and political philosophy for generations, these two works laid the foundation of the modern democratic state in England and abroad. The Second Treatise of Government, a systematic account of the foundations of political obligation, fulfills two objectives: it refutes the concept of the monarchy's divine right and establishes a theory reconciling civil liberties with political order. Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration, arguing for a broad acceptance of alternative religious convictions, is a corollary of his theory of the nature of civil society. Both are essential reading for students of philosophy, history, and political science.
MODERNS YEAR: MacBeth by William Shakespeare
Price: 13.95

Set amid the gloomy castles and lonely heaths of medieval Scotland, "Macbeth" is a dark and bloody drama of ambition, murder, guilt and revenge. Goaded by his ambitious wife, Macbeth murders Duncan, King of Scotland, in order to succeed to the throne. Tortured by his conscience and fearful of discovery, the Scottish nobleman becomes tangled in a web of treachery and deceit that ultimately spells his doom. Note. Explanatory footnotes.
MODERNS YEAR: Othello by William Shakespeare
Price: 12.95

One of the greatest of Shakespeare's tragedies, Othello tells the story of a Moorish general in command of the armed forces of Venice who earns the enmity of his ensign Iago by passing him over for a promotion. Partly for revenge and partly out of pure evil, Iago plots to convince Othello that Desdemona, his wife, has been unfaithful to him. Iago succeeds in his evil aims only too well, for the enraged Othello murders Desdemona. When Othello later learns of her innocence, he takes his own life. Bleak and unsparing, this play offers a stunning portrait of an arch-villain and an astute psychological study of the nature of evil.
MODERNS YEAR: Tartuffe by Moliere
Price: 9.95

Teeming with lively humor and satirical plot devices, this timeless comedy by one of France's greatest playwrights follows the outrageous activities of a penniless scoundrel and religious pretender. Invited to live in his benefactor's house, he wreaks havoc among family members by breaking off the daughter's engagement, attempting to seduce his hostess, and resorting to blackmail and extortion. Essential reading for students of theater and literature. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
MODERNS YEAR: The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Price: 9.95

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in The Social Contract, propounds a doctrine which already had a long history in the struggle against the older view of the divine right of kings, namely, that government gets its authority over us by a willing consent on our part, not by the authorization of God. While Rousseau's famous opening line condemns the society of his day for its limiting of our natural spontaneity (indeed, its corruption of our natural goodness), he thinks that a good government can be justified in terms of the compromise to which each of us submits so as to gain "civil liberty and the proprietorship of all he possesses." Rousseau even thinks that we mature as human beings in such a social setting, where we are not simply driven by our appetites and desires but become self-governing, self-disciplined beings.
MODERNS YEAR: Philosophy of History by Hegel
Price: 15.95

With this work, Hegel introduced a scientific approach to the study of the history of philosophy. The author himself regarded this book as a popular introduction to his entire philosophy, and it ranks among his most readable and accessible writings. Hegel develops the concept of history as a rational proceeding, rather than a series of random events. His doctrine of the historical process — governed according to the laws of evolution and embodying the spirit of freedom — exercised an enormous and enduring influence.
MODERNS YEAR: Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals by Kant
Price: 12.95

Immanuel Kant was one of the most important German philosophers during the Enlightenment, teaching and writing about philosophy and bridging those from the rationalist and empiricist schools of thought. His most famous works discuss metaphysical concepts like morality and reason.
MODERNS YEAR: Favorite Poems by Wordsworth
Price: 9.95

Widely considered the greatest and most influential of the English Romantic poets, William Wordsworth (1770-1850) remains today among the most admired and studied of all English writers. He is best remembered for the poems he wrote between 1798 and 1806, the period most fully represented in this selection of 39 of his most highly regarded works. Among them are poems from the revolutionary Lyrical Ballads of 1798, including the well-known "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abby"; the famous "Lucy" series of 1799; the political and social commentaries of 1802; the moving "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud"; and the great "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood"--all reprinted from an authoritative edition.
   
 
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