Reading Can Change Your Life

Reading the great books can be a life changing experience. It is also a daunting one. Which books should you read and what if I don’t fully understand what’s going on? As part of my job as writer, editor, and teacher, I often write and exposit on the importance of the arts, culture, literature, philosophy, theology, and more.

The classics have a dual beginning: philosophy and literature. The two names that appear here are Plato and Homer. From Plato and Homer we stand on the shoulders of giants and the entire odyssey of Western intellectualism, art, literature, and science flow from these great and noble souls. For those seeking a better understanding of Plato, you’re in luck! As a scholar of Plato I have written several academic articles and many more public essays on Plato and his dialogues which have been gathered together in my short work – The Politics of Plato: A Beginner’s Guide (2020).

As a literary critic and essayist, who often writes on the continued relevance of the classics and great books in shaping our world and lives, a collection of literary essays examining the origins of Western literature from Hesiod and Homer down through the Greek playwrights, medieval authors and poets like Dante, and up through Elizabethan, Jacobean, and romantic literature and poetry has also been published: The Odyssey of Love (Wipf and Stock, 2021). I’ve also contributed to The College Lecture Today (Lexington Press, 2019) and the forthcoming book Diseases, Disasters, and Political Theory (Routledge, exp. 2022). (I’m also completing a manuscript on the wisdom, truth, and love in the Greek and Latin classics and a commentary on Homer’s Iliad.)

The unread life isn’t worth living. And all humans can profit from reading Plato and the great books that contain “the best which have been thought and said” about the human condition. Anyone who seeks a richer life and deeper understanding of the humanities can find an easy and accessible guide in both works. After all, they are written for you—the gentle reader—to hopefully inspire you to seize the reins and begin your ascent to the Love that governs the sun, moon, and the stars of our wondrous cosmos.


Hesiod, Paul Krause in real life, is the editor of VoegelinView and a writer on art, culture, literature, politics, and religion for numerous journals, magazines, and newspapers. He is the author of The Odyssey of Love and the Politics of Plato, and a contributor to the College Lecture Today and the forthcoming book Diseases, Disasters, and Political Theory. He holds master’s degrees in philosophy and theology (biblical & religious studies) from the University of Buckingham and Yale, and a bachelor’s degree in economics, history, and philosophy from Baldwin Wallace University.


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