I've been on a long and steady roll reading classic literature, both fiction and non-fiction. I think it's important to get a perspective from earlier times that influenced our current culture and...
I've been on a long and steady roll reading classic literature, both fiction and non-fiction. I think it's important to get a perspective from earlier times that influenced our current culture and also because many of these works have withstood the test of time.
However, I'm having real trouble reading some of the non-fiction e.g. Plato's Republic and Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals. With both fiction and non-fiction I accompany my readings with Sparknotes to make sure I'm not missing anything important. In the case of non-fiction I often can barely get a cohesive thought out of the original text. In some cases the text is too old to be understood on it's own and in others the author has great ideas but poor writing (e.g. Nietzsche, famously). But Sparknote's is much too brief—I'd like a more involved experience.
My request is this: I'm looking for books (or resources to find such books) about classic non-fiction that
- distill the concepts without watering them down
- provide context with either modern culture and/or other works that are related
- are written for an intelligent layman; prose meant to communicate to a non-expert audience but with scholarly rigor
Basically, I read at a high level but I am not a professional scholar of literature, philosophy or history, yet I would like to have a bridge to such an understanding.
EDIT: I found this site to be exactly what I was looking for: https://plato.stanford.edu/index.html