Thanks to the diligent sleuthing of an Sedona, Arizona, archivist, a series of classic conversations about the art of reading, between the late philosopher Mortimer J. Adler and his acolyte Charles Van Doren, are once again available on video from Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas.
The discussions between the two public intellectuals, produced by Britannica in the 1970s, were lost for many years until they were rediscovered recently by Ken Dzugan, archivist for the Center. They’re now available on a single DVD and may be ordered online at http://www.thegreatideas.org/HowToReadABook.htm.
Titled “How to Read a Book,” the video was originally produced in conjunction with the third edition of Adler’s classic book of that title, published in 1972 and coauthored by Van Doren. The book’s first edition was a runaway best seller when it was published in 1940.
After going out of print many years ago, the original videotaped product of the Adler-Van Doren conversations disappeared from Britannica’s records. It would have languished in eternal obscurity had it not been for Dzugan’s pluck. After getting a tip from Center member Steve Rossiter, Dzugan searched through an international database of library holdings, located a library that had the original videotapes, borrowed them and approached Britannica, seeking permission to reproduce them. . . .
Read the rest of the story in the press release.