Clifton Fadiman's Lifetime Reading Plan
Clifton Fadiman, who died in 1999 at the age of 95, was an editor, essayist, anthologist and broadcast personality. He was an editor and judge for the Book-of-the-Month Club for over 50 years. He wrote for the Encyclopedia Britannica as well as numerous magazines and compiled over two dozen anthologies on subjects ranging from mathematics to poetry to the pun. He became very well known appearing on the radio quiz show Information, Please! The Lifetime Reading Plan was first published in 1960; the second and third editions, with revisions and amplifications, appeared in 1978 and 1986. Finally, with the assistance of John S. Major, Clifton Fadiman prepared The New Lifetime Reading Plan (4th edition, 1998). The book is divided into 133 sections with each section devoted to an author and one or more of that author's books. The books are presented in chronological order and discussed in two or three pages each. This 4th edition addresses works of greater diversity than any of the earlier editions. The authors' write in the preface - "Because our country is more profoundly multicultural than ever, and also because it is to everyone's personal advantage to cast as wide a net as possible in harvesting the world's cultural riches, the works suggested...(here)... now include Lady Murasaki along with Jane Austen, Tanizaki cheek-by-jowl with Faulkner, Ssu-ma Ch'ien as well as Thucydides. We think these additions to the Plan will enhance both your pleasure and your sense of achievement as a reader."
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