Reading Materials

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    I just signed up today but am somewhat unclear as to Jason Jewell’s (and the other professors”) recommended readings.

    Is it possible to point out one or two essential books to read for this course? The Introduction to Logic course had over twenty books listed. I am trying to do these courses with my homeschooling son as we read good books on the subjects, and a large bibliography is too much to handle.

    Also, I just discovered that Jason Jewell has been working on a seven-year project to read all of the Great Books. I wish that I would have known about it when he started; however, I hope to start with Week 1 today. Thank you for the blog.

    Jason Jewell

    Hi, Ben, and welcome to Liberty Classroom! There are no absolutely required or essential readings for the Western Civilization courses. The bibliography that accompanies each lecture is for those who wish to dig deeper into that particular lecture’s topic.

    If you are looking for a general Western Civ survey textbook that will flesh out the lecture material, I find Jackson Spielvogel’s the least objectionable of the mainstream texts out there:

    Yes, it is pricey (not excessively so, as college textbooks go), but I’m sure you can find used copies for a more palatable price.

    And I hope you find the blog enjoyable!

    Jason Jewell

    Perry is pretty good in terms of mainstream texts. He is an intellectual historian, so there is a good emphasis there. And although I have not seen the most recent edition of his book, the older edition I used for a time had a complete chapter on the ancient Hebrews, giving them more attention than many other mainstream texts.


    Is there any particular reason that you didn’t include a Western Civilization history textbook in the recommended readings? (or maybe I merely missed it) I’ve been wanting to tackle some more books on history, and I’ve been looking at all of the recommended readings trying to determine which books I should prioritize, but I hadn’t considered finding a good textbook that covers it all, or at least a good overview.

    Did Dr. Woods use any particular textbook for the Western Civilization course that he did for the Ron Paul home school curriculum?

    Jason Jewell

    Esselbach, I don’t know the answer to your second question. As to the first, I was asked to provide suggested readings specific to each lecture rather than a general textbook. However, for those who have asked specifically, I’ve been recommending Jackson Spielvogel’s text as a decent supplement:


    Esselbach. Yes, Tom Woods uses an online textbook for his Western Civilization course.

    I highly recommend signing up for the Ron Paul Curriculum as well. He has 2 Western Civilization courses (both 180 videos. Western Civ 2 will be started this June). These are at the 10th and 11th grade level.
    What I usually do is Watch Tom’s videos first which are at a high school level then I watch Jason’s college level videos on the corresponding subjects. Not only does this give you repetition to help you remember the material better but it’s interesting to see the different teaching approaches. Gary North also does a Western Literature course to go along with the Western Civilization course.

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