Great Conversation Reading Group
The Great Conversation is an online book discussion group dedicated to reading the great works of Western civilization. We established ourselves back in 2004, and we currently have approximately 400 members. The name and original inspiration of the group is Britannica Great Books of the Western World, edited by Mortimer Adler and Robert Hutchins of the University of Chicago. Adler and Hutchins believed the great books could be viewed as a dialog, a conversation, taking place over the centuries and millennia. The goal of our group is to listen in on that conversation and even to begin to participate in it.
Our readings are taken from among the set of the authors in the Britannica Great Books anthology following a modified version of Adler’s and Hutchins’s ten-year reading plan. We use Adler’s ten year reading plan as a general guide the selection of our readings. We will generally follow the authors listed in the ten year reading plan, but we may choose to read the entirety of particular books by those authors, instead of reading only a small selection as frequently suggested by the Britannica editors. We may also opt to change the order of the sequence in which we read some books. The goal is to read many of the original texts of these authors directly and unfiltered.
Anyone is free to join and read and discuss. Having a copy of the Britannica Great Books is not required, as these books are also available in other formats by other publishers, such as Penguin and Oxford World’s Classics.