Great Books of the Western World Books
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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.

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  1. 1
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    William Shakespeare Volume: 27

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  2. 2
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    Dante Alighieri Volume: 21

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  3. 3
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    Leo Tolstoy Volume: 51

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  4. 4
    + 38
    - 7

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky Volume: 52

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  5. 5
    + 38
    - 7

    William Shakespeare Volume: 27

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  6. 6
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    - 8

    Miguel de Cervantes

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  7. 7
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    Homer

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  8. 8
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  9. 9
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    Harold Bloom Volume: 4

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  10. 10
    + 40
    - 11

    Joseph Conrad Volume: 59

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  11. 11
    + 54
    - 22

    F. Scott Fitzgerald Volume: 60

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  12. 12
    + 33
    - 7

    Geoffrey Chaucer Volume: 22

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  13. 13
    + 34
    - 8

    John Milton Volume: 32

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  14. 14
    + 39
    - 12

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

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  15. 15
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    - 23

    George Orwell Volume: 60

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  16. 16
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    - 9
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  17. 17
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    William Shakespeare

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  18. 18
    + 27
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    T. S. Eliot Volume: 60

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  19. 19
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    Samuel Beckett Volume: 60

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  20. 20
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    Jane Austen Volume: 46

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  21. 21
    + 29
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    William Shakespeare

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  22. 22
    + 26
    - 7

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Volume: 47

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  23. 23
    + 23
    - 5

    William Shakespeare Volume: 27

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  24. 24
    + 29
    - 10

    Niccolò Machiavelli Volume: 23

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  25. 25
    + 21
    - 4

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

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  26. 26
    + 28
    - 10

    Jonathan Swift Volume: 36

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  27. 27
    + 7
    - 0

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

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  28. 28
    + 23
    - 6

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

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  29. 29
    + 23
    - 8

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

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  30. 30
    + 18
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    Anton Chekhov Volume: 59

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  31. 31
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    Giorgio Colli, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mazzino Montinari Volume: 43

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  32. 32
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  33. 33
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    - 6

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

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  34. 34
    + 17
    - 4

    Euclid Volume: 11

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  35. 35
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    - 4

    Aristotle Volume: 8

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  36. 36
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    Franz Kafka Volume: 60

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  37. 37
    + 23
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    Virginia Woolf Volume: 60

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  38. 38
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    - 3
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  39. 39
    + 16
    - 4

    Euripides Volume: 5

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  40. 40
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    - 4

    Plato Volume: 7

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  41. 41
    + 17
    - 5

    John Stuart Mill Volume: 43

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  42. 42
    + 18
    - 6

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

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  43. 43
    + 15
    - 4

    Thomas Hobbes Volume: 23

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  44. 44
    + 15
    - 5

    William Shakespeare Volume: 27

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  45. 45
    + 17
    - 7

    Thomas Mann Volume: 59

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  46. 46
    + 13
    - 4

    Aeschylus Volume: 5

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  47. 47
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    - 4

    William Shakespeare Volume: 27

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  48. 48
    + 14
    - 5

    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

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  49. 49
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    William Shakespeare Volume: 26

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  50. 50
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    - 5

    Aristotle Volume: 9

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items 1 - 50 of 317

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