Clifton Fadiman

Clifton Fadiman, who died in 1999 at the age of 95,  was an editor, essayist, anthologist and broadcast personality. He was an editor and judge for the Book-of-the-Month Club for over 50 years. He wrote for the Encyclopedia Britannica as well as numerous magazines and compiled over two dozen anthologies on subjects ranging from mathematics to poetry to the pun. He became very well known appearing on the radio quiz show Information, Please! The Lifetime Reading Plan was first published in 1960; the second and third editions, with revisions and amplifications, appeared in 1978 and 1986. Finally, with the assistance of John S. Major, Clifton Fadiman prepared The New Lifetime Reading Plan (4th edition, 1998). The book is divided into 133 sections with each section devoted to an author and one or more of that author's books. The books are presented in chronological order and discussed in two or three pages each. This 4th edition addresses works of greater diversity than any of the earlier editions. The authors' write in the preface - "Because our country is more profoundly multicultural than ever, and also because it is to everyone's personal advantage to cast as wide a net as possible in harvesting the world's cultural riches, the works suggested...(here)... now include Lady Murasaki along with Jane Austen, Tanizaki cheek-by-jowl with Faulkner, Ssu-ma Ch'ien as well as Thucydides. We think these additions to the Plan will enhance both your pleasure and your sense of achievement as a reader."


Anonymous (c2000 B.C.) The Epic of Gilgamesh
Homer (c800 B.C.) The Iliad
Homer (c800 B.C.) The Odyssey
Confucius (551-479 B.C.) The Analects
Aeschylus (525-456/5 B.C.) The Oresteia
Sophocles (496-406 B.C.) Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone
Euripides (484-406 B.C.) Alcestis, Medea, Hippolytus, The Trojan Women, Electra, The Bacchae
Herodotus (484-425 B.C.) The Histories
Thucydides (c470-400 B.C. The History of the Peloponnesian War
Sun-tzu (c450-380 B.C.) The Art of War
Aristophanes (448-388 B.C.) Lysistra, The Clouds, The Birds
Plato (428-348 B.C.) Selected Works
Aristotle (384-322) Ethics, Politics, Poetics
Mencius (400-320) The Book of Mencius
Valmiki (, c300 B.C.) The Ramayana
Vyasa (Attrib. to, C200 B.C.) The Mahabharata
Anonymous (c200 B.C.) The Bhagavad Gita
Ssu-ma Ch'ien (145-86 B.C.) Records of the Grand Historian
Lucretius (c100-50 B.C.) Of the Nature of Things
Virgil (70-19 B.C.) The Aeneid
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) Meditations
Saint Augustine (354-430) The Confessions
Kalidasa (c400) The Cloud Messenger, Sakuntala
Revealed to Mohammed (completed 650) The Koran
Hui-neng (638-713) The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch
Firdausi (c940-1020) Shah Nameh
Sei Shonagon (c965-1035) The Pillow-Book
Lady Murasaki (c976-1015) The Tale of Genji
Omar Khayyam (1048-?) The Rubaiyat
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) The Divine Comedy
Luo Kuan-chung (c1330-1400) The Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400) The Canterbury Tales
Anonymous (c1500) The Thousand and One Nights
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) The Prince
Francois Rabelais (1483-1553) Gargantua and Pantagruel
Wu Ch'eng-en (Attributed to 1500-1582) Journey to the West
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592 Selected Essays
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) Don Quixote
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) Complete Works
John Donne (1573-1631) Selected Works
Anonymous (Published 1618) The Plum in the Golden Vase (Ching P'ing Mei)
Galileo Galilei (1574-1642) Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) Leviathan
Rene Descartes (1596-1650) Discourse on Method
John Milton (1608-1674) Paradise Lost, Lycidas, On the Morning of Christ's Nativity, Sonnets, Aeropagitica
Moliere (1622-1673) Selected Plays
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) Thoughts (Pensees)
John Bunyan (1628-1688) Pilgrim's Progress
John Locke (1632-1704) Second Treatise of Government
Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) Robinson Crusoe
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Gulliver's Travels
Voltaire (1694-1778) Candide, and Other Works.
David Hume (1711-1776) An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
Henry Fielding (1707-1754) Tom Jones
Ts'ao Hsueh-ch'in (1715-1763) The Dream of the Red Chamber (The Story of the Stone)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) Confessions
Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) Tristam Shandy
James Boswell (1740-1795) The Life of Samuel Johnson
Thomas Jefferson and others Basic Documents in American History. Edited by Clinton Rossiter) 
Hamilton, Madison, Jay The Federalist Papers. 1787 (Edited by Clinton Rossiter)
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) Faust
William Blake (1757-1827) Selected Works
William Wordsworth (1770-1850) The Prelude, Selected Shorter Poems, Preface to The Lyrical Ballads
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) The Ancient mariner, Christabel, Kubla Khan, Biographia Literaria, Writings on Shakespeare
Jane Austen (1775-1817) Pride and Prejudice, Emma
Stendhal (1783-1842) The Red and the Black
Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) Pere Goriot, Eugenie Grandet, Cousin Bette
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Selected Works
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) The Scarlet Letter, Selected Tales
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) Democracy in America
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) On Liberty, The Subjection of Women
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) The Voyage of the Beagle, The Origin of Species 
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (1809-1852) Dead Souls
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) Short Stories and Other Works
William Makepeace Thackery (1811-1863) Vanity Fair
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Hard Times, Our Mutual Friend, The Old Curiosity Shop, Little Dorrit.
Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) The Warden, The Last Chronicle of Barset, The Eustace Diamonds, The Way We Live Now, Autobiography.
Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) Jane Eyre
Emily Bronte (1818-1848) Wuthering Heights
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Walden, Civil Disobedience
Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (1818-1883) Fathers and Sons
Karl Marx (1818-1883) & Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) The Communist Manifesto
Herman Melville (1819-1891) Moby Dick, Bartleby the Scrivener
George Eliot (1819-1880) The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) Selected Poems, Democratic Vistas, Preface to the first issue of Leaves of Grass (1855), A Backward Glance O'er Travelled Roads
Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) Madame Bovary
Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov
Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910) War and Peace
Henrick Ibsen (1828-1906) Selected Plays
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) Collected Poems
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass
Mark Twain (1835-1910) Huckleberry Finn
Henry Adams (1838-1918) The Education of Henry Adams
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) The Mayor of Casterbridge
William James (1842-1910) The Principles of Psychology, Pragmatism, Four Essays from The Meaning of Truth, The Varieties of Religious Experience
Henry James (1843-1916) The Ambassadors
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) Thus Spake Zarathustra, The Genealogy of Morals, Beyond Good and Evil, and other works.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) Selected Works Including The Interpretation of Dreams, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, Civilization and Its Discontents
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Selected Plays and Prefaces
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) Nostromo
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, Selected Short Stories.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) The Custom of the Country, The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) Collected Poems, Collected Plays, Autobiography
Natsume Soseki (1867-1916) Kokoro
Marcel Proust (1871-1922) Remembrance of Things Past
Robert Frost (1874-1963) Collected Poems
Thomas Mann (1875-1955) The Magic Mountain
E. M. Forster (1879-1970) A Passage to India
Lu Hsun (1881-1936) Collected Short Stories
James Joyce (1882-1941) Ulysses
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, The Waves
Franz Kafka (1883-1924) The Trial, The Castle, Selected Short Stories
D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930) Sons and Lovers, Women in Love
Tanizaki Junichiro (1886-1965) The Makioka Sisters
Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953) Mourning Becomes Electra, The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) Collected Poems, Collected Plays
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) Brave New World
William Faulkner (1897-1962) The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) Short Stories
Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972) Beauty and Sadness
Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) Labyrinths, Dreamtigers
Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) Lolita; Pale Fire; Speak, Memory
George Orwell (1903-1950) Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Burmese Days
R. K. Narayan (1906-) The English Teacher, The Vendor of Sweets
Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) Waiting for Godot, Endgame, Krapp's Last Tape
W. H. Auden (1907-1973) Collected Poems
Albert Camus (1913-1960) The Plague, The Stranger
Saul Bellow (1915-) The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, Hunboldt's Gift
Aleksander Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (1918-) The First Circle, Cancer Ward
Thomas Kuhn (1922-1996) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
Mishima Yukio (1925-1970) Confessions of a Mask, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1928-) One Hundred Years of Solitude
Chinua Achebe (1930-) Things Fall Apart