Reading and just loving A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books by Alex Beam. This from early on:
"Against all odds the Great Books joined the roster of postwar fads like drive-ins, hula hoops, and Mexican jumping beans. Tens of thousands of Americans rushed to join Great Books discussion groups, prompting Time magazine to print the hilarious claim that "Great Books has switched many Americans – at least temporarily- from the works of Spillane to those of Spinoza and St. Augustine." And then nothing. Well almost nothing. Sales sputtered in the late 1960s [after eventually selling 1 million sets], flatlined in the 1970s, and later fell off the cliff. An attempted 1990 relaunch of the Great Books – this time with women! – was a disaster."
Hard to resist too, incidentally, a book dedicated "To my three great sons."