The Story of Philosophy was written in 1925. It was among the earliest books by Mr. Durant. It is a delight. As the title implies it is a survey of the great philosophers - their lives, their thought, their place in history. For anyone interested in gaining an appreciation of such things it would you would be hard pressed to find a better resource. For those seeking to reacquaint themselves with matters last contemplated years ago in school, it is similarly valuable. The level of detail is just right for either of these purposes, as is the selection of the philosophers Mr. Durant covers. In addition he writes beautifully. I found this book an absolute pleasure.
For those interested in the Cold War and its legacy this is a terrific book. Three things remain with me after listening to it. First, the massive resources, both human and material, that were devoted to either our mutual destruction or the prevention of our mutual destruction (depending on where in the mad circle you choose to begin your analysis) are a sad comment on human nature. Second, notwithstanding the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the danger remains and is likely greater. Third, the legacy of the arms race is not merely nuclear weapons but also biological weapons, and given the relative ease of making those weapons the danger they pose is that much greater.
The specific events that I remember from the news assumed a greater signifance and were put in context. The Chernobyl disaster for example and the shooting down of Korean Airlines Flight 007.
Mr. Walter read the book well. There is a hint of accent in the words attributed to Eastern European characters but it is not over done. He did not insert himself into the account by conveying belief or disbelief at various claims made by the participants in these events.
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