The Whole Five Feet

The Whole Five Feet

What the Great Books Taught Me About Life, Death, and Pretty Much Everything Else

Book - 2009
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Baker & Taylor
Recounts how the author set out to read all of the Harvard Classics in an effort to get his life back on track after a serious illness and to discover how the great writers of the past grappled with essential questions of existence.

Perseus Publishing
In The Whole Five Feet, Christopher Beha turns to the great books for answers after undergoing a series of personal and family crises and learning that his grandmother had used the Harvard Classics to educate herself during the Great Depression. Inspired by her example, Beha vows to read the entire Five-Foot Shelf, one volume a week, over the course of the next year. As he passes from St. Augustine’s Confessions to Don Quixote, from Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast to essays by Cicero, Emerson, and Thoreau, he takes solace in the realization that many of the authors are grappling with the same questions he faces: What is the purpose of life? How do we live a good life? What can the wisdom of the past teach us about our own challenges? Beha’s chronicle is a smart, big-hearted, and inspirational mix of memoir and intellectual excursion—and a powerful testament to what great books can teach us about how to live our own lives.

In The Whole Five Feet, Christopher Beha turns to the great books for answers after undergoing a series of personal and family crises and learning that his grandmother had used the Harvard Classics to educate herself during the Great Depression. The result is a smart, big-hearted, and inspirational mix of memoir and intellectual excursion that ?deftly illustrates how books can save one’s life” (Helen Schulman).


Publisher: New York, NY : Grove Press, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780802118844
Branch Call Number: 809 Beha
Characteristics: viii, 258 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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