Frequently Asked Questions
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are the free, online books offered by byGosh.com "The Best”?
The end of the 20th century brought about a fad for creating "Best of the 20th Century" lists. A number of literary organizations joined the fun with the release of lists of the Best Books of the 20th Century. The methodology and ranking criteria varied. Some lists were compiled according to votes from readers, other lists were created by panels of literary experts. Naturally, no two lists agree completely.
byGosh.com collected many of the lists and extracted just the books that are out of copyright in the United States. We then combined the rankings from the various lists to create a composite index of The Best Novels of the 20th Century and The Best Nonfiction of the 20th Century. The byGosh.com composite index reflects the combined wisdom of several different reader polls and several different lists from experts. The rank of each book depends on the rank of the book on each of the various lists. Extra credit is given to books that appear on multiple lists.
2. Are novels by women and minorities under-represented on the various "Best of the 20th Century" lists?
This controversial question has been raised concerning many of the lists, including some of those used to create the byGosh.com composite index. We have never seen an answer that would satisfy everyone.
Our decision to feature The Best Nonfiction of the 20th Century, in addition to The Best Novels, was made in part for the opportunity to feature the work of two of the greatest African American intellectuals of the 20th century: Up From Slavery, by Booker T. Washington; and The Souls of Black Folk, by W. E. B. Dubois.
3. What does "out-of-US-copyright" mean?
means that these books are in the public domain, at least in the United
is able to share these books free, online with U.S. viewers.
4. May I distribute or republish books from byGosh.com?
Not without permission from byGosh.com, but permission is hereby granted for any educational or noncommercial use. Only commercial use is prohibited.
Although the text is out of copyright, a considerable amount of work went into formatting each book. The formatting creates a "new work", in copyright language. All pages on this website are © Copyright 2000-2005 byGosh.com.
5. What relationship does byGosh.com have with Amazon.com?
byGosh.com and Amazon.com are separate entities. byGosh.com is a participant in the Amazon.com Associate program.
6. How can I contact byGosh.com?