Newly expanded and updated to include standout works from the twenty-first century as well as essential readings in science (from the earliest works of Hippocrates to the discovery of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs), The Well-Educated Mind offers brief, entertaining histories of six literary genres—fiction, autobiography, history, drama, poetry, and science—accompanied by detailed instructions on how to read each type. The annotated lists at the end of each chapter?ranging from Cervantes to Cormac McCarthy, Herodotus to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Aristotle to Stephen Hawking?preview recommended reading and encourage readers to make vital connections between ancient traditions and contemporary writing.
“A timeless, intelligent book.”–Publishers Weekly
“Updated and expanded from an earlier edition, the book replicates what one should encounter (emphasis on should) at a good liberal arts college or university—a solid grounding in both classical and modern writers who have shaped Western thought….Bauer supplies a challenging and intriguing curriculum. The lists contain their share of the usual suspects—Aristotle, Shakespeare, Milton, Thoreau, Woolf—but some pleasant surprises, too, including All the President’s Men and Don DeLillo’s White Noise. Even if you read only a fraction of the choices, The Well-Educated Mind is a welcome counterbalance to the anodyne, information-based sound bytes that assault our daily lives. Unlike that exercise machine being used as a clothes rack in your bedroom, this is a portable, flexible means to self-improvement.”—Bookpage, January 2016