Grover Gardner is great, the book's contents are nice, too. However the professional narrative is interspersed with interviews had with the author at an exceedingly advanced age. The interviewer asks poor questions and the author is hardly understandable. At times the author speaks contrary not only to his own responses but also to the material from the actual work.
If you have ever complained about a book dragging on or taking ten pages to cover what could have been presented in just one then this book is not it. It is a quick review of Durant's conclusions about the success and failure of civilizations. I thought the book was well done and it included recorded discussions with Durant between each chapter which were very interesting. We have all heard it; a civilization that does not know the history of the success and failures of other civilizations is doomed to relive the mistakes of the past. This is your chance to hear a summary of all the major civilizations and their eventual demise and the reason they failed according to Durant. From the information presented in this book you can extend your reading to a more detailed look at a civilization that interests you.
The content in this book is critical to read. It distils the knowledge learned from decades of work - and that shouldn't be taken lightly - the couple who wrote this book won a Congressional Medal of Honour for their prolific series. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, we might even get smarter voters that aren't whipsawed around by lies if everyone read this. I found this book through Ray Dalio's recommendation as one of the most important/influential books to read. I definitely was not disappointed in the content but perhaps by the delivery, the music is irritating (and frequent) and Will Durant is incomprehensible when he speaks himself - this may be due to advanced age and bad audio quality from the 70's/80's. It's still not bad enough to detract from the audiobook.
Hard to say, this is sort of a Cole's Note or Cliff's Notes on history. It goes into more of the human condition with some historical context to support its arguments but its fundamentally a book about unchanging human nature. It's organized very well.
Decent narrator for the prose sections. I have no complaints other than the cheesy music and the 'audio-legibility' of Will Durant in the live skits sections.
I was irritated at the terrible music they would play between chapters or when they bring in Will Durant himself.
Ditch the music!!!
There is a lot to absorb in Durants' philosophy.
If you ever wonder why America seems to be in decline, this book will explain well!
It has happened time and time before. WE JUST think, we are a different time.
I believe Social Media will expedite our decline, as the takers, will over-run the makers of our economy!
Well it's obvious Will Durant was held in check at times by his wife Ariel
At first being it was written 40 years ago, I didn't think it would be relevant.
BUT it is very relevant! As I soon discovered, the decline and decay of societies is years in the making.
The end may seemingly consummate in a few years. But was 50 years in the making! Just like we are seeing in America!
It will take my several more listening a before I can get my head around the contents of this book. On the first listening I was impressed by many simple truths that take far more to comprehend than it takes to follow the words that make up the argument. History as philosophy is an intriguing thought.
Mr Glover is a good narrator and is easy to listen to and doesn't seem to over embellish the material. Between each chapter there are interviews with the authors. This helps to "put a face" on the arguments.
Odd that Will Durant defends religion, even though he admits (paraphrasing here) that it is made up to give poor people hope. The book itself is spliced together with an extended interview with the authors. I found myself wishing the interviewer asked harder questions. But, it wasn't a debate. The book tends to repeat themes. It feels like an essay extended to book form. However, I am glad I heard it.
Straight forward conclusions and enough citations from other historians to understand the truth of it. Its a hard line, but no reason to disbelieve how the circle completes itself. While they suggest that changes can be made, they make it clear that they believe it is unlikely. History people will like this. Its fairly easy to understand how mankind continues to repeat the past.