Understand Your Major in One Sitting

The Student Guides to the Major Disciplines are reader-friendly introductions to the most important fields of knowledge in the liberal arts. They’re slender introductions to the who, why, and what of your major.

They’re so useful that they got a thumbs-up from the Wall Street Journal, which calls them “mini–great books in themselves.”

Download ebook copies of these handy guides, completely free.

Pick your guide:

Understand political philosophy in one sitting. Harvard’s Harvey C. Mansfield, one of America’s leading political theorists, explains why the quest for the good life must address the type of government you want to uphold. He directs you to the thinkers and philosophies and classic works that have proved most influential throughout the ages.
a student's guide to political philosophy

A Student's Guide to Political Philosophy

by Harvey C. Mansfield
Understand U.S. history in one sitting. Wilfred M. McClay invites you to experience the perennial freshness and vitality of this great subject as he explores some of the enduring commitments and persistent tensions that have made America what it is.

A Student's Guide to U.S. History

by Wilfred M. McClay
Understand the liberal arts in one sitting. A Student’s Guide to Liberal Learning is an inviting conversation with a learned scholar about the content of an authentic liberal arts education. It surveys ideas and books central to the tradition of humanistic education that has fundamentally shaped our country and civilization.
a student's guide to liberal learning

A Student's Guide to Liberal Learning

by James V. Schall
Understand history in one sitting. John Lukacs, one of today’s most widely published historians, explains what the study of history entails, how it has been approached over the centuries, and why it should be undertaken by today’s students. This guide is an invitation to become a master of the historian’s craft.

A Student's Guide to the Study of History

by John Lukacs
Learn economics in one sitting. Paul Heyne, one of America’s most respected free-market economists, takes you through the history of economic thought, from Adam Smith to John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek and up to James Buchanan and other recent economic thinkers.

A Student's Guide to Economics

by Paul Heyne
Learn from one of America’s leading philosophers, Ralph McInerny of the University of Notre Dame, as he explores vital questions like: Who is a philosopher? Can philosophical thought be avoided? What have philosophers written over the ages? And why should we care?

A Student's Guide to Philosophy

by Ralph M. McInerny
Understand literature in one sitting. Literary scholar R. V. Young addresses timely issues in this guide to Western literature and poetry. Learn how great fiction and poetry are integral to a liberal education, and visit the classic works of literature again—or for the first time.

A Student's Guide to Literature

by R. V. Young
Understand the core curriculum in one sitting. Mark C. Henrie's guide explains the value of a traditional core of studies in Western civilization and then surveys eight courses available in most American universities which may be taken as electives to acquire such an education. This guide puts “the best” within reach of every student.

A Student's Guide to the Core Curriculum

by Mark C. Henrie
Understand American political thought in one sitting. George W. Carey’s primer instructs you on the fundamental matters of American political theory while pointing you to the readings and resources you need to get a better grasp on the ideas that have shaped our political heritage.

A Student's Guide to American Political Thought

by George W. Carey
Understand classics in one sitting. Bruce Thornton’s crisp and informative guide provides you with an overview of each of the major poets, dramatists, philosophers, and historians of ancient Greece and Rome.

A Student's Guide to Classics

by Bruce S. Thornton
Understand music history in one sitting. R. J. Stove's guide gives you a concise account of classical music’s development from the early Middle Ages onwards.

A Student's Guide to Music History

by R. J. Stove
Understand law in one sitting. Gerard V. Bradley's guide introduces you to the major concepts, cases, and thinkers that have shaped American legal scholarship and history. He also helps you better understand what, at bottom, is at stake in the different understandings of the nature of law that drive many of our national debates.

A Student's Guide to the Study of Law

by Gerard V. Bradley
Understand natural science in one sitting. Stephen M. Barr's guide gives you an understanding of the nature, history, and great ideas of natural science from ancient times to the present, with a primary focus on physics.

A Student's Guide to Natural Science

by Stephen M. Barr
Understand psychology in one sitting. Daniel N. Robinson’s guide surveys the philosophical and historical roots of modern psychology and sketches the major schools and thinkers of the discipline. You’ll learn to identify those false prejudices—such as contempt for metaphysics and the notion that the mind can be reduced to the chemical processes of the brain—that so often perplex and mislead students of psychology.

A Student's Guide to Psychology

by Daniel N. Robinson
Understand international relations in one sitting. Angelo M. Codevilla explains the history of the international system, the dominant schools of American statecraft, the instruments of power, contemporary geopolitics, and more. The content of international relations, he demonstrates, flows from the differences between our global village’s peculiar neighborhoods.

A Student's Guide to International Relations

by Angelo M. Codevilla
Understand religious studies in one sitting. D. G. Hart explores the conundrums of the ambiguous position of religious studies in the academy and offers advice about the best way to approach and benefit from the teaching and study of religion in contexts often hostile to faith.

A Student's Guide to Religious Studies

by D. G. Hart