82 pages 2 hours read

Isaac Asimov


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1951

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.


Teacher Introduction


  • Genre: Fiction; science fiction
  • Originally Published: 1951
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 830L; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 5 parts; approximately 296 pages; approximately 8 hours, 37 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: Foundation is the first novel in Isaac Asimov's groundbreaking science fiction series of the same name. The central conflict revolves around the impending collapse of the Galactic Empire and mathematician Hari Seldon's development of a scientific discipline called "psychohistory." Seldon foresees the fall of the empire and the dark ages that will follow, and he establishes the Foundation to preserve knowledge and shorten the period of chaos. The novel follows the rise and fall of various leaders and the Foundation's efforts to navigate political intrigue and external threats. It explores themes of history, politics, and the future of humanity in the vastness of space.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Political intrigue; societal collapse; the future of humanity

Isaac Asimov, Author

  • Bio: Born 1920, deceased 1992; Russian-born American author, professor, and biochemist known for his prolific science fiction and popular science writing; celebrated for his contributions to the genre and his ability to combine scientific ideas with engaging storytelling
  • Other Works: Robot series, including I, Robot (1950); The Caves of Steel (1954); The End of Eternity (1955)
  • Awards: Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series (Foundation trilogy, 1966)