Defoe's book may be the first true English novel. Published 290 years ago and loosely based on the experiences of an English castaway rescued 300 years ago, The Life and Strange SurprisingAdventures of RobinsonCrusoe has become a part of our culture, universally known by educated English speakers though rarely read outside of a high school or college literature class. And a rare high school it would be that assigned it.
The style is foreign to moderns, and many of the attitudes repugnant. But, if you have any multicultural inclinations, you must acknowledge that Defoe's culture is no less legitimate than our own.
Not particularly entertaining for moderns, Robinson Crusoe reveals much about the culture that nurtured John Locke and created the British Empire and the (often ignored) traditions of liberty, equality, and rule of law that led to modern America with its power, flaws, and ability to inspire all peoples.
People will be reading this book long after Clancy and Ludlum are forgotten and dropped from the library shelves. It will be read not for entertainment but to learn about a culture.