Great Books of the Western World Books
Vote List
2,851 votes 96 voters 15,331 views by  Power
Ranker
more info

Great Books of the Western World

List Criteria: Books written by authors from the Western Hemisphere

Compiled by Encyclopedia Britannica, this is a list of the great books of the western world. It is our western canon gathered into a single package of 60 volumes. Initially compiled in the 50's, the Great Books of the Western World was updated in the 90's with a second edition. While the first three volumes of the compendium feature a dissertation on liberal education, Volume 4 and beyond contain various books that we have listed here. Both fiction and non-fiction have been included, as well as all genres. Encyclopedia Britannica did a fantastic job putting together this list of Great Books of the Western World. If you're looking for a great, timeless book, then this is the place to start.

Be sure to check out Ranker's other lists like the Best Opening Lines in Fiction.
</> Rerank List
  1. 1
    Up 34
    Down 6
    Dante Alighieri More
    Volume: 21
  2. 2
    Up 45
    Down 15
    George Orwell More
    Volume: 60
  3. 3
    Up 35
    Down 8
    Joseph Conrad More
    Volume: 59
  4. 4
    Up 43
    Down 14
    F. Scott Fitzgerald More
    Volume: 60
  5. 5
    Up 31
    Down 6
    Leo Tolstoy More
    Volume: 51
  6. 6
    Up 26
    Down 3
    No image

    Macbeth

    William Shakespeare More
    Volume: 27
  7. 7
    Up 29
    Down 6
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky More
    Volume: 52
  8. 8
    Up 33
    Down 9
    Herman Melville More
  9. 9
    Up 26
    Down 5
    Geoffrey Chaucer More
    Volume: 22
  10. 10
    Up 27
    Down 6
    Miguel de Cervantes More
  11. 11
    Up 26
    Down 7
    Samuel Beckett More
    Volume: 60
  12. 12
    Up 22
    Down 4
    T. S. Eliot More
    Volume: 60
  13. 13
    Up 23
    Down 5
    Harold Bloom More
    Volume: 4
  14. 14
    Up 23
    Down 5
    William Shakespeare More
    Volume: 27
  15. 15
    Up 25
    Down 7
    James Joyce More
    Volume: 59
  16. 16
    Up 22
    Down 5
    No image
    William Shakespeare More
    Volume: 27
  17. 17
    Up 19
    Down 4
    Mark Twain More
    Volume: 48
  18. 18
    Up 26
    Down 10
    William Shakespeare More
    Volume: 26
  19. 19
    Up 22
    Down 7
    Jane Austen More
    Volume: 46
  20. 20
    Up 23
    Down 8
    John Milton More
    Volume: 32
  21. 21
    Up 24
    Down 9
    Niccolò Machiavelli More
    Volume: 23
  22. 22
    Up 20
    Down 6
    Virginia Woolf More
    Volume: 60
  23. 23
    Up 18
    Down 5
    William Shakespeare More
  24. 24
    Up 21
    Down 8
    Jonathan Swift More
    Volume: 36
  25. 25
    Up 16
    Down 4
    Anton Chekhov More
    Volume: 59
  26. 26
    Up 17
    Down 5
    William Shakespeare More
    Volume: 26
  27. 27
    Up 18
    Down 6
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe More
    Volume: 47
  28. 28
    Up 18
    Down 6
    William Shakespeare More
    Volume: 26
  29. 29
    Up 20
    Down 8
    William Shakespeare More
  30. 30
    Up 21
    Down 9
    Franz Kafka More
    Volume: 60
  31. 31
    Up 16
    Down 5
    William Shakespeare More
    Volume: 27
  32. 32
    Up 16
    Down 5
    Homer More
  33. 33
    Up 13
    Down 3
    William Shakespeare More
    Volume: 26
  34. 34
    Up 14
    Down 4
    Euripides More
    Volume: 5
  35. 35
    Up 14
    Down 4
    Euclid More
    Volume: 11
  36. 36
    Up 14
    Down 4

    Gorgias

    Plato More
    Volume: 7
  37. 37
    Up 15
    Down 5
    William Shakespeare More
  38. 38
    Up 15
    Down 5
    Thomas Mann More
    Volume: 59
  39. 39
    Up 16
    Down 6
    Jack N. Rakove More
    Volume: 43
  40. 40
    Up 16
    Down 6
    William Shakespeare More
    Volume: 26
  41. 41
    Up 13
    Down 4

    Metaphysics

    Aristotle More
    Volume: 8
  42. 42
    Up 14
    Down 5
    Sigmund Freud More
    Volume: 54
  43. 43
    Up 12
    Down 4
    Giorgio Colli, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mazzino Montinari More
    Volume: 43
  44. 44
    Up 12
    Down 4
    John Stuart Mill More
    Volume: 43
  45. 45
    Up 13
    Down 5
    William Shakespeare More
    Volume: 26
  46. 46
    Up 11
    Down 4
    Aeschylus More
    Volume: 5
  47. 47
    Up 11
    Down 4
    Thomas Hobbes More
    Volume: 23
  48. 48
    Up 11
    Down 4
    No image

    Poetics

    Aristotle More
    Volume: 9
  49. 49
    Up 12
    Down 5
    William Faulkner More
    Volume: 60
  50. 50
    Up 10
    Down 4
    William Shakespeare More
    Volume: 26

items 1 - 50 of 317

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

viewers of this list also saw

more popular lists