[Web4lib] how "great" are the great books?

Eric Lease Morgan emorgan at nd.edu
Tue Nov 23 08:25:37 EST 2010

On Nov 15, 2010, at 3:21 PM, Eric Lease Morgan wrote:

> In an attempt to validate a mathematical model of mine I have implemented a crowd sourcing survey addressing the question, "How 'great' are the Great Books?". [1]
> [1] survey - http://bit.ly/bPQHIg

Thanks to y'all, my survey's response rate has more than doubled. It has now been answered more than 11,500 times by 700 people from all over the world. According to the votes, the top 5 "greatest" books from the set of books called the Great Books of the Western World are:

  1. Faust by Goethe
  2. Odyssey by Homer
  3. Paradise Lost by Milton
  4. Don Quixote by Cervantes
  5. Divine Comedy by Dante

While those books do not necessarily come out on top in my model, the books at the bottom of my model more ore less correspond to the books at the bottom of the survey:

  218. On Fractures by Hippocrates 
  219. On Injuries Of The Head by Hippocrates
  220. Suppliant Maidens by Aeschylus
  221. Rhesus by Euripides
  222. On Hemorrhoids by Hippocrates

Interesting, and again, thank you.

Eric Lease Morgan
University of Notre Dame

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