Common Reading

Each summer students, faculty, staff and administrators at Florida College have the opportunity to read and discuss a significant work, a “common reading,” that can foster meaningful discussions across the campus; it will be discussed formally in classes and in a public forum led by faculty members from various disciplines. Below you can find our most recent common readings.

Animal Farm


Before 1984 there was Animal Farm. In a flurry of creativity and inspiration right after World War II George Orwell wrote two of the greatest warnings of all time against totalitarianism.



We invite you to join us in reading (or rereading as the case may be) George Orwell’s classic; and in doing so to recognize the dangers of totalitarianism no matter the guise in which it presents itself.

“A Letter to a Member of the National Assembly”


Edmund Burke (1729–1797) was a remarkable public figure who lived through a remarkable period of history. He served in Parliament through the years of both the American and the French revolutions. In the years leading up to the American Revolution, Burke criticized Britain’s treatment of the colonies and expressed sympathy for the colonists…

“An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment?”


The year was 1784. The American Revolution was (recent) history; the French Revolution was still to come. The era often called “The Enlightenment” was drawing to a close, along with the 18th century, although its legacy remains with us …



On August 15, 1945, people throughout Japan had an unprecedented and historic experience: they heard the voice of Emperor Hirohito himself on the radio, announcing that the war, World War II, was over. Just days before, the United States …

“The Condensed Wealth of Nations”


In a healthy atmosphere of debate—permitted, and even encouraged, in a free society allowing for the thrust and parry among those with competing opinions—Americans, among other Western peoples, have long traded ripostes …

“Funeral Oration”


In an uncertain political era, (yet, it is often an “uncertain political era”), our Common Reading for 2016-2017 shifts our thinking to the principles of antiquity, as well as the era of our own republic’s most difficult hours. Certainly, the Greeks …

“Alice in Wonderland”


Alice in Wonderland is a marvelous children’s book full of jokes and wordplay and just plain nonsense; but it also wrestles with some serious issues such as growing up and the nature of personal identity. This is the 150th anniversary …
We are looking forward to discussing these books and concepts with you!

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