Essays on the Classics!

(Volume 1)

Non-Fiction - Education
102 Pages
Reviewed on 11/25/2013
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Author Biography

Jason R. Goetz is a young, charismatic educator who is on a mission to teach the classics to as wide an audience as is receptive. His first book, The Bubble Boys, told of the serious moral, intellectual, and ethical shortcomings of state-sponsored universities: and this was published ten months BEFORE Jerry Sandusky. His second book, The Decline of the Epic?, spoke of the fall of the epic poem as a literary genre, especially in light of developments of military technology which spelled the death of the chivalrous hero engaged in single combat. Currently he teaches online Great Books programs and writes the Essays on the Classics! series, each volume containing 6 essays and published every 6 weeks.

Mr. Goetz can be found at greatbooksdude.wordpress.com, www.goetzeducation.org, and his Essays on the Classics! series at essaysontheclassics.wordpress.com. He is looking for 100 students for his online Great Books program and 1000 consistent readers!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite

Great books continue to have contemporary relevance, can be endlessly gleaned for fresh data and interpretation, and contain great ideas which have occupied the minds of thinkers from antiquity. Essays on the Classics by Jason R. Goetz establishes these fundamental truths as he introduces the series of essays in this volume, as well as the Great Books program which puts out an essay on the classics every week. Defining a classic or a "Great Book” is not an easy task, but the author gives some guidelines or definitions to establish a point where a discussion can be raised, and then sets forth to lead that discussion. The author takes a look at different genres and spreads them open for analysis: beginning with the epic and its fall; wandering into political philosophy and theory; pausing for a look back into classical history; examining classical memoirs and autobiographies; and presenting a collection of non-Shakespearean plays that are of great value. Jason also provides a handy list of all of the works that were referred to in his essays to wrap it up.

The motivation and concept for Essays on the Classics is honorable and for a huge fan of classical literature it is hard not to give anything but high fives and “atta boys” to Jason R. Goetz for taking on this project and for producing these essays. In most respects, I believe his analysis of the basic definition and the examination of the genres is accurate. However, when it comes to examining specific works, there will certainly be some heated discussions as to the value and interpretations they contain. That, in a nut shell, is the highest value of Essays on the Classics, because it will awaken readers from their literary slumber.