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Charles Van Doren

Charles Van Doren

The Best 5 Books on Charles Van Doren

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A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future

A one-voume reference to the history of ideas that is a compendium of everything that humankind has thought, invented, created, considered, and perfected from the beginning of civilization into the twenty-first century. Massive in its scope, and yet totally accessible, A HISTORY OF KNOWLEDGE covers not only all the great theories and discoveries of the human race, but also explores the social conditions, political climates, and individual men and women of genius that brought ideas to fruition throughout history.
"Crystal clear and concise...Explains how humankind got to know what it knows."
Clifton Fadiman
Selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the History Book Club
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How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

With half a million copies in print, How to Read a Book is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader, completely rewritten and updated with new material.

Originally published in 1940, this book is a rare phenomenon, a living classic that introduces and elucidates the various levels of reading and how to achieve them—from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading. Readers will learn when and how to “judge a book by its cover,” and also how to X-ray it, read critically, and extract the author’s message from the text.

Also included is instruction in the different techniques that work best for reading particular genres, such as practical books, imaginative literature, plays, poetry, history, science and mathematics, philosophy and social science works.

Finally, the authors offer a recommended reading list and supply reading tests you can use measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension, and speed.
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The Lion of Cortona: Volume I: Exiles

Cortona, a small city in Tuscany, is surrounded by high stone walls and retains to this day its medieval spirit. Charles Van Doren, writer, editor, and academic, made it his second home for more than twenty-five years. As a man with a passionate need to “know,” he studied everything he could find about the history of Cortona. And that history is so much a part of The Lion of Cortona, you almost don’t notice how much you are learning. Van Doren sweeps us into his richly imagined evocation of life in thirteenth-century Tuscany. As events unfold with ease and authenticity. It is intriguing to watch the book’s bold and interesting characters develop, intermingle, and reckon with the consequences of their actions. Santa Margherita, who lived and cared for the people of Cortona in the thirteenth century, appears in the story as she actually was, at least from all available accounts. The same can be said of the Casali family; the Palazzo Casali still stands in one of the two main piazzas of the city. Thomas Aquinas, the philosopher, also has a role in the story, as does the great and powerful Visconti family. Nino, one of the imaginary heroes, meets Aquinas in France. Benno, the main hero, joins the army of the archbishop of Milan, Ottone Visconti. Nina, Nino’s sister, loves Benno. But because of his humble origins, Benno must prove himself before he can claim her. Many events in the novel actually happened. The first is the betrayal and invasion of Cortona by the bishop of Arezzo. A traitor opened the gate at the bottom of the city for his army and the chaos that ensued. Nino, Nina, and Benno were hardly more than children when that happened. Another true event is the Battle of Pizzighettoni, at which Benno distinguished himself as a leader and hero. Surrounding these two events, much of the story is entirely the creation of a man’s imagination, inspired by the city he loved.
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Lincoln's Commando

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The Joy of Reading: A Passionate Guide to 189 of the World's Best Authors and Their Works

"Charles Van Doren has laid a feast before all of us that is irresistible." -Mortimer J. Adler

This engaging love letter to reading follows the great authors and classics that transformed the world: from Aristotle and Herodotus in ancient Greece to Salinger and Heinlein in 20th century America. Like a professor whose enthusiasm enwraps his students, Van Doren explains what's wonderful in the books you've missed and awakens your desire to reopen the books you already know.

Divided chronologically by the periods in which these classics were written, each book is put in its historical context and brought to life by Van Doren's brilliant analysis. The Joy of Reading delves into a wide range of genres-fiction, poetry, drama, children's books, philosophy, history and science. This is the one book that brings together everything you need to know about the classics you missed and ignites your passion to read and reread the greatest books the world has ever known.

This book is the fruit of a lifelong love affair. Reading, I believe, is my favorite thing to do; books and I have been inseparable almost as long as I can remember ... To this day, I become distressed if I am anywhere without a book, a magazine, a newspaper, any scrap of paper to read .... I like the smell of books, certainly the feel of them. Life without books would be, for me, a vacant horror."
-Charles Van Doren

"Nothing recommends the joy of reading better than the communication of it by a person who has spent a lifetime enriched by the delights of reading. Charles Van Doren is that kind of reader. He has laid a feast before us that is irresistible."
-Mortimer J. Adler, author of How to Read a Book

"Mr. Van Doren is that rarity, a truly well read man who reads not for professional purposes but for pleasure. His book spurs us on to explore more deeply and joyfully the infinitely varied terrain of good books."
-Clifton Fadiman, author of The New Lifetime Reading Plan: The Classical Guide to World Literature
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IF YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CHARLES VAN DOREN, YOU CAN FIND HIM ON HIS Website, Facebook , Twitter , Instagram AND Youtube