German philosopher Oswald Spengler.

Oswald Spengler

(1880 - 1936)

British urban planner Ebenezer Howard.

Ebenezer Howard

(1850 - 1928)

Novelist and psychiatrist Daniel Mason.

Daniel Mason

Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés.

Hernán Cortés

(1485 - 1547)

Turkish author Orhan Pamuk.

Orhan Pamuk

Former Prime Minister of United Kingdom Benjamin Disraeli.

Benjamin Disraeli

(1804 - 1881)

Procopius

(c. 490 - c. 562)

Chinese-American journalist Leslie T. Chang.

Leslie T. Chang

Greek dramatist Sophocles.

Sophocles

(c. 496 BC - 406 BC)

Classical bust of Thucydides.

Thucydides

(c. 460 BC - c. 404 BC)

American composer George Gershwin.

George Gershwin

(1898 - 1937)

Sozomen

(c. 380 - c. 450)

Italian poet and scholar Giovanni Boccaccio.

Giovanni Boccaccio

(1313 - 1375)

Portrait bust of Roman poet Virgil.

Virgil

(70 BC - 19 BC)

Chinese poet Du Fu.

Du Fu

(712 - 770)

Writer and critic Luc Sante.

Luc Sante

Lewis Lapham at his desk

Lewis H. Lapham

American writer, editor, and translator Eliot Weinberger.

Eliot Weinberger

Black and white photograph of E. B. White sitting at his typewriter with his dachshund.

E.B. White

(1899 - 1985)

Vitruvius

(c. 80 BC - 15 BC)

Marco Polo

Marco Polo

(1254 - 1324)

History professor Warren Breckman.

Warren Breckman

German architect and Nazi official Albert Speer.

Albert Speer

(1905 - 1981)

Photograph of Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire

(1821 - 1867)

Engraving of the medieval Arab traveler Ibn Battuta.

Ibn Battuta

(1304 - c. 1369)

Photograph of Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges

(1899 - 1986)

Black and white photograph of Mencken looking over his shoulder at the camera

H.L. Mencken

(1880 - 1956)

American politician from New York George W. Plunkitt.

George W. Plunkitt

(1842 - 1924)

English architect Christopher Wren.

Christopher Wren

(1632 - 1723)

Black and white photograph of a young F. Scott Fitzgerald sitting at a desk.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

(1896 - 1940)

Danish author Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen

(1805 - 1875)

German socialist philosopher Friedrich Engels.

Friedrich Engels

(1820 - 1895)

French novelist Gustave Flaubert.

Gustave Flaubert

(1821 - 1880)

American novelist Richard Powers.

Richard Powers

Jules Verne

Jules Verne

(1828 - 1905)

Russian poet Andrei Bely.

Andrei Bely

(1880 - 1934)

Photograph of English novelist Charles Dickens.

Charles Dickens

(1812 - 1870)

Black and white photograph of German-language writer Franz Kafka.

Franz Kafka

(1883 - 1924)

Photograph of Joan Didion

Joan Didion

Swiss traveler and writer Nicolas Bouvier.

Nicolas Bouvier

(1929 - 1998)

American author and journalist Jamie James.

Jamie James

Greek rhetorician Libanius.

Libanius

(314 - 393)

Photograph of American journalist and novelist George Packer.

George Packer

Diodorus Siculus

(c. 90 BC - c. 20 BC)

American writer Theodore Dreiser.

Theodore Dreiser

(1871 - 1945)

Portrait of Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky

(1821 - 1881)

Painting of François Rabelais.

François Rabelais

(1494 - 1553)

Photograph of American writer Ralph Ellison.

Ralph Ellison

(1914 - 1994)

American-Canadian author William Gibson.

William Gibson

Statue depicting Roman orator and historian Tacitus.

Tacitus

(56 - c. 120)

British writer Salman Rushdie.

Salman Rushdie

Sufi mystic and poet Rumi.

Rumi

(c. 1207 - 1273)

Black and white photograph of historian and man of letters Henry Adams.

Henry Adams

(1838 - 1918)

Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa.

Fernando Pessoa

(1888 - 1935)

Engraving of Scottish economist Adam Smith.

Adam Smith

(1723 - 1790)

Photograph of Soviet playwright and writer Mikhail Bulgakov.

Mikhail Bulgakov

(1891 - 1940)

Image from Codex Manesse depicting a tournament of knights.

Chrétien de Troyes

(c. 1165 - c. 1180)

Black and white photograph of French writer and film director Marguerite Duras.

Marguerite Duras

(1914 - 1996)

Black and white photograph of Austrian writer Stefan Zweig.

Stefan Zweig

(1881 - 1942)

American food journalist and editor Frederick Kaufman.

Frederick Kaufman

Image of French writer Honoré de Balzac with hand on chest.

Honoré de Balzac

(1799 - 1850)

Theognis

(c. 570 BC - c. 490 BC)

Lewis Mumford

(1895 - 1990)

Book critic Michael Dirda.

Michael Dirda

American-born Canadian urbanologist Jane Jacobs.

Jane Jacobs

(1916 - 2006)

Photo of stone Aristotle statue face

Aristotle

(384 BC - 322 BC)

black and white photo of Groucho Marx wearing glasses and smoking a cigar from the side of his mouth

Groucho Marx

(1890 - 1977)

American civil war general William Tecumseh Sherman.

William Tecumseh Sherman

(1820 - 1891)

Engraving of Roman author and administrator Pliny the Younger.

Pliny the Younger

(61 - 112)

American poet and novelist Helen Hunt Jackson.

Helen Hunt Jackson

(1830 - 1885)

American writer, political activist, urban theorist, and historian Mike Davis.

Mike Davis

Ammianus Marcellinus

(c. 330 - 395)

French novelist Irène Némirovsky.

Irène Némirovsky

(1903 - 1942)

Black and white image of Greek biographer and writer Plutarch.

Plutarch

(46 - c. 120)

Black and white photograph of Cuban poet, patriot, and martyr José Martí.

José Martí

(1853 - 1895)

German sociologist and philosopher Georg Simmel.

Georg Simmel

(1858 - 1918)

Essayist and novelist Pico Iyer.

Pico Iyer

British author J.G. Ballard.

J.G. Ballard

(1930 - 2009)

English diarist and naval administrator Samuel Pepys.

Samuel Pepys

(1633 - 1703)

Photograph of Colin Dickey standing in front of a brick wall.

Colin Dickey

Photograph of Italian writer Italo Calvino.

Italo Calvino

(1923 - 1985)

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

(1817 - 1862)

Woody Allen in thick black rim glasses

Woody Allen

English economist and demographer Thomas Malthus.

Thomas Malthus

(1766 - 1834)

British inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage.

Charles Babbage

(1791 - 1871)

Sculpture bust of Greek historian Herodotus.

Herodotus

(c. 484 BC - c. 425 BC)

American novelist and journalist John Hersey.

John Hersey

(1914 - 1993)