171 episodes

We discuss the great books, the great ideas and the process of liberal education.

Online Great Books Podcast Online Great Books Podcast

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 341 Ratings

We discuss the great books, the great ideas and the process of liberal education.

    #171- Shelby Foote's The Civil War Part 1

    #171- Shelby Foote's The Civil War Part 1

    To round out 2022, Scott and Karl decided to revisit Shelby Foote's 2,968-page, 1.2 million-word history of the American Civil War. Collectively, Foote's history of the Civil War includes three compelling volumes: Fort Sumter to Perryville, Fredericksburg to Meridian, and Red River to Appomattox.  
    Scott and Karl begin talking about the tenuous nature of history yet how Foote still manages to bring his narrative power to this great epic. Scott says, "Shelby Foote made Ken Burn's career... Shelby Foote talks about things that happened 120 years ago like it was this morning."
    The duo agrees—there are great lessons to be learned in these books. Tune in to hear more of Scott and Karl's take on this monumental trilogy. Brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com.

    • 2 hr 17 min
    #170- The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing's Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living

    #170- The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing's Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living

    We're back! Scott and Karl explore Helen and Scott Nearing's The Good Life (1954) and Continuing the Good Life (1979) in a new, long-form podcast. 
    In the 20th century, Scott and Helen Nearing became the new models of self-sufficient lifestyles and rural homesteading. Having abandoned their life in New York City in 1932, rural Vermont became the place the couple could escape a capitalist life. Scott says, “They were trying to live out the 1930s communist ideal.”
    Over the next 60 years, the Nearings developed a system of living called the good life, inspiring others who are city-weary to do the same. But as Karl points out, "This is not Walden." 
    Tune in to learn more about Scott and Karl's take on the back-to-the-land movement. Brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com. 

    • 2 hr 20 min
    #169- Koontz's Odd Thomas Part 2

    #169- Koontz's Odd Thomas Part 2

    Scott and Karl are back after a brief hiatus to finish their discussion of Dean Koontz's 2003 thriller, Odd Thomas. 
    While the ending might make you emotional, this book satisfies its genre— it's suspenseful, memorable, and thoroughly entertaining. Still, Scott points out that reading this type of fiction in the present times is getting harder and harder. 
    Tune in for Part Two of the duo's conversation. Brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com 

    • 1 hr 17 min
    #168- Koontz's Odd Thomas Part 1

    #168- Koontz's Odd Thomas Part 1

    This week, Scott and Karl begin their discussion of Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas, a best-selling thriller novel published in 2003. Koontz is known for being a masterful storyteller with a talent for creating richly drawn characters. While this novel is definitely a thriller, Scott points out it reads like a noir detective story. 
    If you are looking for an entertaining read, this book checks all the boxes for the duo. As Karl points out, "[Koontz] appears to have reasonably good metaphysics. Evil is evil, it's understandable, and the good guys are actually good." 
    Tune if for Part One of Scott and Karl's conversation. Brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com. 

    • 1 hr 11 min
    #167- Asimov's Foundation Part 2

    #167- Asimov's Foundation Part 2

    Scott and Karl finish their discussion of the first novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece, Foundation.
    The novel is set in the future, when the world is barely remembered, and humans have colonized the galaxy. While this series helped to redefine the science-fiction genre, the duo takes issue with the ways this make-believe society responds to the problems Asimov lays out and the use of mathematics and probability to predict the future. As Karl points out, "Scientific progress as a moral good makes no sense." 
    Tune in to hear Part Two of Scott and Karl's conversation. Brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com. 

    • 1 hr 2 min
    #166- Asimov's Foundation Part 1

    #166- Asimov's Foundation Part 1

    This week, the duo tackles Karl's pick— the first novel in Isaac Asimov’s classic science-fiction masterpiece. 
    Largely regarded as a launch pad for space-age science fiction, Foundation is a collection of five short stories which were first published together as a book by Gnome Press in 1951. The series tells the story of the Foundation, an institute founded by psychohistorian Hari Seldon to preserve the best of galactic civilization after the collapse of the Galactic Empire.
    Scott says, "Asimov and all that stuff from this era is one of the reasons the boomers are the way they are. They were inculcated with a worldview that is out of fiction. They think everything is always going to improve, that science has the answer, and they see that history and the scope of time is a character and acts in and of itself so they don't have a responsibility." 
    Tune in to hear Part One of the duo's conversation and learn why Karl calls this "a good bad book." Brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com. 

    • 1 hr 3 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
341 Ratings

341 Ratings

Dave Denis ,

Repeat Offender ;-)

I've review OGBP before, but after listening to Scott and Karl talk about Foote's 2nd Volume, I had to drop another 5 star. It's because of OGB that I read all three volumes early in 2022. Took about 4 months, but well worth it. I resonate with their conversation. In fact, they can't hear me, but I am an interlocutor right along with them.

Here is a perfect example of why their talk is so good...when they started talking about the nature of secession...is it a closed question? Wow. They opened up for me a whole line of thought that I realized had been in the back of my mind even as I read Foote. But when Scott pulled it out and put it on the table -- not as mere rhetoric -- but as a real question for citizens to discuss....well...I'll be gnawing on that bone for a while.

I can't read every book OGB covers, but when I have read the book, their conversation always enhances my experience with that book. If I haven't read the book, I still come away with valuable insights that help me grapple with the world around me. I have found a few other podcasts that are good for this (not many) but this is my go to. Key to my ongoing education.

While I loved hearing from them every week, I can only imagine what a grueling pace they had to keep just to do me (a stranger) a favor. Thank you gentlemen. I'm actually glad you slowed down if it allows you to keep going.

Yeshuite ,

Two dudes talkin bout books

There is a time in life when one has to weed out the noise and devour with your senses what’s beneficial, creative and virtuous. These two dudes are funny, thoughtfully entertaining great questions and well worth the time to listen to. One of my 5 favorite podcasts.

pilgrimaging01 ,

Great Podcast

I don’t miss an episode and have been inspired to read and do difficult, but truly good, things. Forget millmackkid and the naysayers and keep on keeping on. Your people enjoy the work.

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