Special Programs and 2017-18 Details

Goetz Educational Services believes that the surest foundation for a sound mind is a liberal education.  We believe that the ideas that have inspired thinking persons of the past are applicable to our lives in the present.  These ideas are most evident in the canon known as the “Great Books” and our unique special programs are designed to instruct students in a certain set of ideas by two methods: first we can trace the thinking of intellectuals about an idea through history, and second we can look at a specific genre (epic poems, political theories, utopian visions, great religions, empires through history, mathematics, technological innovation, to name a few).

The classics consist of both fiction and nonfiction genres.  History, political theory, jurisprudence, science, mathematics, and economics sit side by side with epic poetry and novels.  These works can provide students with backgrounds for careers in film, journalism both broadcast and written, government both domestic and foreign affairs, politics, law, teaching, business, and writing.  For those who are not sure what career they will go into, but who are still in school, they will help with English and History classes as well as standardized tests and all forms of writing.

We believe that with the right approach these texts and ideas are accessible to students of all ages.  To that end we offer special programs for students, one during the school year and one during summer break.  We also conduct courses for adults, and should a group approach us with a specific set of ideas they want to cover, we are willing to work with them to set up a special program designed to meet their needs.

Groups of adults can also build their own programs: http://greatbooksdude.wordpress.com/build-your-own-groups-class/

The program for the summer and school year of 2017-18 provides a diverse array of ideas spanning from ancient Athens to the modern United States.  Over 8 weeks in the Summer we will be introducing students to the High Renaissance in Italy (1453-1527) by looking at Plato’s Republic (brought into Italy by Byzantine refugees post-1453), Lucretius’s De rerum natura (rediscovered by an Italian manuscript hunter in 1417), Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s Oration on the Dignity of Man (1486), a chapter from Alexandre Dumas’s Celebrated Crimes focusing on the Borgias, Machiavelli’s The Prince (1513) and Discourses on Livy (1517) as well as Macaulay’s Essay on Machiavelli, Baldassare Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier (1528), and Benvenuto Cellini’s Autobiography (1558).  This course parallels Mr. Goetz’s Idols of History: High Renaissance Italy.

The eight-week Fall program will cover the Age of the Stuarts in England (1603-1689), looking at Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum, John Milton’s Areopagitica and Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, John Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration and Second Essay Concerning Civil Government, selections from Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan, Theodore Roosevelt’s Oliver Cromwell, and Winston Churchill’s The New World.  These will parallel Mr. Goetz’s Idols of History: England/Ireland/Scotland under the Stuarts (as yet unpublished).

The four-week Winter program will cover the conquest of Mexico, covering Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s Conquest of New Spain, Bartolommeo de las Casas’s Tears of the Indians, William H. Prescott’s History of the Conquest of Mexico, and Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel.  These will parallel a chapter from Mr. Goetz’s Idols of History: Iberian Age of Exploration (as yet unpublished).

Our eight-week Spring program will cover conspiracies: Sallust’s Catiline’s War, Thomas More’s History of King Richard III and Horace Walpole’s Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard III, Alexandre Dumas’s Celebrated Crimes (especially the chapter about Mary, Queen of Scots), Eliot Asinof’s Eight Men Out, and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s All the President’s Men and The Final Days.

We have several options for the Summer 2016 selections.  Contact us for more details.

The Spring and Fall selections generally run between 8 and 40 pages per night and can be read quickly; the Winter and Summer selections are longer, because students are not in school.

Starting June 15, courses meet online in groups of 5 to 10 and will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the author’s presentation of fact, the merits of their opinions, and the relative importance of what the authors propose; each student will be given a chance to signify whether he agrees or disagrees with the author’s perspective.  Students will submit a short feedback form prior to each week’s meeting.

The cost of the program is $60 per week, with a $5 discount per week for the first year for referrals.  Enrollment will be limited to 100 students, so act quickly to secure your spot!

Check out our sister site, greatbooksdude.wordpress.com, for more information on various classical texts and for a look at our approach.

Call us today at (310) 592-5681 or contact us through the box below by June 15 (Labor Day) and enroll in our momentous, life-changing courses!  (We will be accepting ongoing enrollments, but preference is given to those who enroll by Labor Day.)

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