OnlineGreatBooks Podcast

OGB Podcast

#36- The Lord of the Rings Part 2

In the second installment of the series, Scott Hambrick and Karl Schudt continue their discussion of Tolkien’s magic in The Lord of the Rings. The two talk about the problem of evil in this Homeric story, what the good life actually looks like, models of hope we see in many of the characters, the unyielding power […]

OGB Podcast

#35- The Lord of the Rings Part 1

After years of Karl’s persistent hounding, Scott finally reads The Lord of the Rings. The two discuss elves, orcs, dwarfs, hobbits, and so much more. Disclaimer: If you haven’t yet already, do not watch The Lord of the Ring movies before reading the books. Don’t let your first Tolkien experience be from Peter Jackson. Karl will […]

OGB Podcast

#34 – Against Dryness

If you don’t believe in anything, how can you make meaningful art? Scott and Dr. Karl Schudt discuss their first encounter with philosopher-novelist Iris Murdoch. Her essay “Against Dryness” addresses that question, along with the ideas and forces that brought that question about. Looking at art and of literature, Murdoch laments the loss of moral […]

OGB Podcast

#33 – The Loss of the Creature

Scott and Dr. Karl Schudt discuss Walker Percy’s essay on how preconceived ideas about experiences cause us to overlook their essence. Why do so many people surrender their experiences of things to the way others want those people to experience them? How do we get around Percy’s “symbolic complex” of a book or a place, […]

OGB Podcast

#32 – Plato’s Seventh Letter

Plato’s Seventh Letter has it all – history, politics, epistemology, pedagogy. And the complaints of an old man who has watched his life’s work…fail? Scott and Dr. Karl Schudt discuss the letter and the drama behind it, and then wrestle with the question of whether or not a lover of wisdom actually has the ability […]

OGB Podcast

#31 – Moments II: Thucydides & The Thin Veneer of Civility

In the second installment of the Moments miniseries, seminar leader Karl Schudt reflects on the capricious and tenuous nature of our current political environment. As Thucydides reminds us, extreme partisanship is nothing new: "reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal supporter... prudent hesitation specious cowardice." And where there is partisan rancor, [...]

OGB Podcast

#30 – How to Start Your Own Home Reading Group with Thad Hensley

Scott says it all the time -- if you can start your own Great Books  group at home, do it! There's nothing that can truly replace the camaraderie, the deep shared intellectual experiences, and the accountability of an in-person group. Several years ago Scott started his own Great Books group in the tradition set forth [...]

OGB Podcast

#29 – Moments I: Medea’s Terrifying Rationality

This week we're trying something new at Online Great Books: a new series of short episodes reflecting on one aspect of the Great Books. We're calling them Moments. We'll hear personal reflections from the seminar staff and from members. One core tenet of Online Great Books is that seminar staff do NOT teach during seminars. They [...]

OGB Podcast

#28 – “We believe in nothing!” The Stakes of Meaninglessness in Nietzsche’s “The Joyful Wisdom”

Scott Hambrick and Karl Schudt discuss Friedrich Nietzsche's book The Joyful Wisdom, Book 3, which contains his infamous proclamation "God is dead." Nietzsche is perhaps best known for his writings about nihilism, the rejection of God and moral principles, or of any notion of meaning in life. From the nihilist's perspective, nothing in the world is [...]

OGB Podcast

#27 – Is There Virtue Among Cannibals? Scott and Miles Discuss Montaigne’s “Of Cannibals”

Scott Hambrick and Online Great Books member Miles Marco Bennett -- in fact the very first member to join OGB -- discuss Michel de Montaigne's insightful, tongue-in-cheek, and occasionally droll essay Of Cannibals.Montaigne's essay, which appears in a larger collected work of his essays written in the 16th century, describes the author's experience with the [...]

OGB Podcast

#26 – Brevity is The Soul of Wit… and Effective Communication

Scott talks to Joe McCormack, author of Brief: Make Bigger Impact by Saying Less, about the importance of brevity in communication. Joe is an author, speaker, and consultant who has worked with executives, military personnel, and many others to hone their ability to communicate efficiently in critical situations.   With attention spans shrinking and ever-growing [...]

OGB Podcast

#25 – Analyzing Freud’s Melancholia and Mourning with Psychiatrist David Puder, MD

Psychiatrist Dr. David Puder joins the podcast to discuss Sigmund Freud's 1917 paper Melancholia and Mourning. You can find Dr. Puder on Instagram @dr.davidpuder and you can subscribe and listen to his podcast at https://psychiatrypodcast.com. Use the discount OGBPODCAST to save 25% on enrollment at Online Great Books. Click to Subscribe on iTunes!

OGB Podcast

#24 – Euclid & The Shape of Modern Science with Emmet Penney

Online Great Books founder Scott Hambrick and seminar leader Emmet Penney tackle the first scientific work on the podcast, Euclid's Elements. The Elements are a collection of treatises, postulates, and propositions that ultimately drive toward important mathematical concepts such as the Pythagorean theorem and the theory of numbers, i.e. integers, divisibility, prime numbers.   Everyone [...]

OGB Podcast

#23 – Shakespeare’s Hamlet Pt. 2: What Is The Question, Exactly?

Scott and Producer Trent wrap up their discussion of Shakespeare's Hamlet, close-reading Hamlet's soliloquies and dissecting the structure of Shakespeare's verse. They reflect on Shakespeare's impact on modern literature, the curiously secular perspective of the play in a highly religious time period, and whether Shakespeare sought to moralize or draw conclusions (spoiler: we don't think he [...]

OGB Podcast

#22 – Shakespeare’s Hamlet Pt. 1: The First Modern Masterpiece?

Producer Trent returns to the podcast to discuss the first modern piece of literature to appear on the podcast: Shakespeare's Hamlet. A dark, introspective, sprawling drama, Hamletis arguably Shakespeare's masterpiece, and certainly one of the best of the twelve tragedies he penned. Scott and Trent discuss how Hamlet remains vital and relevant even in contemporary culture, [...]

OGB Podcast

#21 – The College Trap Pt. 2 with Brett Veinoitte (School Sucks Podcast)

Brett Venoitte of the School Sucks Project returns for Part 2 of our interview discussing the problems with college admissions and the persistent myth that college is a sure path to financial success and career fulfillment. In the second half of the interview, Scott and Brett argue that the value of the college is on [...]

OGB Podcast

#20 – The College Trap: How College Became A Religious Belief with Brett Veinoitte (School Sucks Podcast)

Scott Hambrick interviews podcaster, author, former test prep educator, and education contrarian Brett Veinoitte about the rapidly changing role of school and, particularly, secondary school. As the recent scandal involving celebrities paying bribes to obtain university admissions for their children has revealed, college has become so ingrained as a symbol of status and opportunity that [...]

OGB Podcast

#19 – The OGB Seminar Experience, and Why Your Voice Matters

Scott and Karl Schudt discuss what an Online Great Books seminar is like -- the experience, what it should be, and what it is not. Many people interested in reading the great books balk at the seminar aspect of OGB out of fear that they won't have anything useful to contribute, that they may not [...]

OGB Podcast

#18 – Authenticity in Speech: The Importance of Speaking Your Mind with John Syc

Scott and Online Great Books member John Syc, a therapist and LCSW from Hamden, CT, discuss the concept of authenticity in speech and discussion, and the various ways people sabotage their participation in discussions. Not only do people rob themselves of value with inauthentic speech, they also do disservice to the group. The Socratic model [...]

OGB Podcast

#17 – The Socratic Scribbler: Malachy Walsh on Writing and Saying What You Mean

Online Great Books seminar leader and former advertising executive Malachy Walsh joins the podcast again to discuss everyone's least favorite school subject -- composition. Many people dread writing, either because of grammar, a tenuous grasp of dialect, or simply because they are not sure what they have to say. Malachy has developed a writing course [...]

OGB Podcast

#16 – Brett McKay (Art of Manliness) on Dante’s Divine Comedy

Brett McKay of Art of Manliness fame joins Online Great Books owner Scott Hambrick to discuss Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, a narrative poem best known by the titles of its three constituent parts: Inferno, Purgatorio,and Paradiso.   Dante's tale blends Christian theology and human reason, exploring the nature of sin and redemption. Virgil, the pre-Christian author [...]

OGB Podcast

#15 – Marsha Familaro Enright on Montessori, Meeting Ayn Rand, and Building Reading Confidence in Adults

You've heard her in the OGB staff seminar discussions, now she's joined the podcast to tell Scott her encounters with the Great Books. Marsha Enright developed a strong interest in education and the problems with modern public education at a young age. As a young women she studied objectivism with followers of Ayn Rand in [...]

OGB Podcast

#14 – Wrapping Up Plato’s Republic: Is It Really About Love?

The Online Great Books crew wraps up their exploration of Plato's Republic in the third and final roundtable with Scott, Karl, Marsha, Malachy, and John. They grapple with the question of whether The Republic is a practical manual for government or really a thought experiment, performed out of a deep love for wisdom and reason. Click [...]

OGB Podcast

#13 – Plato’s Republic, Books I-V: Satire or a Manual for Government?

Scott Hambrick and the OGB seminar leaders tackle the first five books of Plato's Republic, wrestling with Socrates' central question "what is justice?" and arguing whether Plato intended the Republic as a manual for government or political satire. Malachy Walsh leads the discussion.

OGB Podcast

#12 – Ideas in Action: Adam Rose and The Great Books

In today’s episode Scott chats with fellow Great Books educator Adam Rose. Mr. Rose is a University of Chicago alum and, since 1993, an instructor for the Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults offered by the University of Chicago Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies. The Basic Program is a four-year, non-credit [...]

OGB Podcast

#11 – Scott on The Canon Ball Podcast: Round Table Talk – Literature!

Our dear Reader-in-Chief, Scott Hambrick, appeared on the Canon Ball Podcast (an Agora Podcast Network show) to talk about Edmund Burke, Voltaire, and discuss their influence on thoughts about the French Revolution.   From the Canon Ball Podcast episode description: Daniel from the Canon Ball is joined by Scott Hambrick from www.onlinegreatbooks.com for an intimate chat [...]

OGB Podcast

#10 – What Is Justice? Plato’s Republic: Book I

Scott and the seminar leaders at Online Great Books discuss Book I of Plato's Republic. The central question posed by Socrates -- what is justice? -- is the focal point of Book I. Socrates discusses with three companions the nature of justice. Cephalus offers a definition of justice of that which owed. Polemarchus says justice is "the art [...]

OGB Podcast

#9 – What’s in a Question? The Art of Asking Good Questions

Socratic dialogue, that is, the art of seeking the truth through questions and discussion -- famously demonstrated by Socrates -- lies at the heart of the Online Great Books community. Yet what made Socrates' approach work was his knack for asking good, probing, thought-provoking questions. So what isa good question anyway?   Scott and fellow reader [...]

OGB Podcast

#8 – (M)Ad Man: How the Classics Informed Malachy Walsh’s Career in Advertising

Scott interviews Online Great Books seminar leader and former ad-man Malachy Walsh about his Classical education and his long career in advertising during the fertile "Mad Men" period of the industry in the late 60's through the 70's. Malachy has dedicated his life to learning and literature. Educated at a Jesuit school at Georgetown, he [...]

OGB Podcast

#7 – Quintus Curtius: Breathing New Life into Latin Translation

Scott interviews attorney, former Marine, autodidact, and lover of classics Quintus Curtius (his nomme de guerre) about his life passion - translating classic works of Latin. Quintus has translated six major books including Cicero's On Duties and Sallast's The Conspiracy of Cataline and The War of Jugurtha. He has also written extensively about philosophy, linguistics, [...]

OGB Podcast

#6 – OGB Seminar Leaders Discuss Plato’s The Meno

Scott Hambrick and a group of the Online Great Books seminar leaders tackle Plato's The Meno, a short but endlessly deep work attempting to unearth the meaning - or even existence - of virtue. Written as a Socratic dialogue between Socrates and Meno, a young Thessalian noble, the Meno is both provocative and frustratingly inconclusive.   [...]

OGB Podcast

#5 – Dr. Jordan Peterson On the Importance of Reading Great Books

He is a man who, in this day and age, needs no introduction. Dr. Jordan Peterson joined the Online Great Books podcast to share his thoughts on the Great Books and the importance of our mission to get people to read and discuss the greatest works of literature. As Dr. Peterson advises in rule #9 [...]

OGB Podcast

#4 – Why We Read (the Great Books)

Karl Schudt joins us again to talk about the Great Books and why we undertake this long and sometimes difficult journey to read them, ponder them, and discuss them. Karl is one of the seminar leaders at Online Great Books, and helped write some of the guidelines and materials for leading groups through the book [...]

OGB Podcast

#3 – OGB’s Karl Schudt & Emmet Penney on the ReConsider Podcast: How Dead Philosophers Still Influence Us Today

Our very own Karl Schudt and Emmet Penney, seminar leaders at Online Great Books, joined the ReConsider podcast on May 21, 2018 to discuss three great philosophers and how they still have influence and relevance hundreds, even thousands of years later. The three philosophers chosen for the discussion were Plato, Machiavelli, and Karl Marx.   [...]

OGB Podcast

OnlineGreatBooks podcast #2 Aeschylus’ “Prometheus Bound”

OnlineGreatBooks Reader-In-Chief Scott Hambrick and Producer Trent Jones discuss "Prometheus Bound" in this episode of the OGB podcast. Listen in on Trent and Hambrick as they discuss a little Aeschylus. Thoughts and questions about the book. Prometheus gives humanity “hope” Consider the significance of this to human beings. Is it right or wrong to oppose [...]

OGB Podcast

New Podcast! Online Great Books talks Homer’s “The Iliad”

Producer Trent and Scott Hambrick model how our Seminar discussions work as they talk about Homer's "The Iliad." Intro music "Spirit of the Kithara" by Michael Levy. War music "Spartan Warrirors" by Derek & Brandon Fletcher. Follow on Instagram. Subscribe on iTunes Follow us on Twitter   Scott Hambrick, owner and founder of OnlineGreatBooks.com, and [...]