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