About Us

The Great Books Foundation is an independent, nonprofit educational organization that creates reading and discussion programs for students and adults.

Through Shared Inquiry™ discussions of enduring literature, we advance social and civic engagement and help people of all ages think critically about their own lives and the world we share.

What We Do

  • For nearly 70 years the Great Books Foundation has fostered respectful, open discussion that promotes civil discourse, civic engagement, and social justice.
  • We inspire students to explore essential ideas in literature, past and present, worth talking about. We teach students how to think critically, igniting a passion for ideas that establishes a foundation for learning and growth.
  • We provide instruction for teachers, parents, and volunteers in Great Books Shared Inquiry™, a method of learning that promotes close reading, careful questioning, active listening, and the respectful exchange of ideas.
  • We build communities of lifelong learners who, through discussions of contemporary and perennial issues, become more knowledgeable, reflective, and engaged citizens.
  • We sponsor outreach programs, forging partnerships with educational and community organizations to advance reading and discussion as a way to explore shared concerns and common ground.

Help us build a more just and civil society. Your contribution to the Great Books Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a life-changing investment in democracy.

If democracy is going to work as it should, the man in the street is going to have to think better.

—Robert Maynard Hutchins
Co-Founder, the Great Books Foundation