©2002 John Little, Monica Ariel Mihell, and William James Durant Easton; (P)2003 John Little and the Estate of Will Durant; (P)2003 The Audio Partners Publishing Corp.
"This compact work is a gem that elevates historical writing to the level of superb literature." (Booklist)
"[An] engaging, accessible book of essays...in prose peppered with biographical bon mots and excerpts of the world's loveliest poems. Lay folks especially will find this a delightful introduction to Durant's irrepressible style." (Publishers Weekly)
Whilst the content was interesting, the narrator read way too fast. I could not absorb much of the content. As a result I did not enjoy the book. This is the first time I have had this issue with audio books. From now on I will always listen to sample before purchase.
Many on the list are antiquated. And the lists are read as quickly as the reasons for his choice. In some categories it's like hearing a hone book read. Durant does better on his history of the philosophers. In this book He leaves out all of the religious leaders on a purpose that I don't understand. Most of which held more sway, good and bad, than any of the others on a list. I'll order another from Durant just because he has been so good in the past. But I could have skipped this one and not lost sleep.
I bought this dispite the negative reviews. I am a total Durant fan. Read the History of the World, Yup that one.The first bit is great and engrossing, 100 greatest books does not make a great read. This might be better in hardcover. But have been through it twice and will plunge in again. I prefer books good for read after read, this qualifies , but you better like Durant.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
This is, as I understand, an incomplete work of Durant, and it is mostly a big disappointment. For the most part, it is a list of antiquated works put forth as the basis for a fundamental education. No kicks against his list, except that a lot of it was rather obvious and there is very little expansion on the whys of his picks. Begin elsewhere with Durant.
We purchased this title thinking it would be thought provoking and spur conversation regarding who was/was not included in each list. It was quickly apparent that the author was not modern and did not write in a lively manner. Granted, his essays were intended to be read rather than heard, but the rambling definitions were tedious. If you are unfamiliar with this author's work (as we were), we strongly suggest that you read some of the essays before buying the audio file. Better to discover his prejudices at the local library than after spending $$ on an antiquated world view.
Ironically, I purchased this book because of the review that I read online. In this review the author of this book, Will Durant, was referred to as having an "old world view". I was hoping that this referred to a more classical view of mankind, his origins, morality and society, however, it did not. From my perspective, this point of view is one of materialism taken to the extreme. Decidedly modern, with a five senses view of existence, with the human mind reigning supreme as the ultimate discerner of truth, yet being nothing more than that of an evolved animal. No room for higher consciousness, spirituality, or anything for that matter, beyond what we can see, touch, feel, and most importantly, think of. I recommend that you investigate the author before investing your money, and most importantly, your time into this audio book.
I found this book very superficial. It did not go into any detail and it was a waist of time and money. Not worth getting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Poor choice of narator lets excellent title down"
This titlte is another jewel from Will Durant but I can not recommend it due to the poor naration. The voice is flat and makes the book unlistenable. This has nothing to do with the sound quality and is due to the reader. I advise listening to the excellenty narated 'The Story of Philosophy' by the same author and compare prior to purchase. I will be seeking to return this title.
"Durant being Durant, not a bad thing..."
Will Durant was nothing if not an unashamed elitist and his personal take on the greatest minds and figure in history are fairly well justified, though he admits himself his choice of greatest poets is somewhat personal! Some of the other choices might be considered in the same light. Well worth as listen though.
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