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The Lessons of History | [Will, Ariel Durant]

The Lessons of History

The authors devoted five decades to the study of world history and philosophy, culminating in the masterful 11-volume Story of Civilization. In this compact summation of their work, Will and Ariel Durant share the vital and profound lessons of our collective past. Their perspective, gained after a lifetime of thinking and writing about the history of humankind, is an invaluable resource for us today.
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Publisher's Summary

The authors devoted five decades to the study of world history and philosophy, culminating in the masterful 11-volume Story of Civilization. In this compact summation of their work, Will and Ariel Durant share the vital and profound lessons of our collective past. Their perspective, gained after a lifetime of thinking and writing about the history of humankind, is an invaluable resource for us today. The rare archival recordings of the Durants in conversation, made from 1957-1977, illuminate our present condition and offer insightful guidance for the future.

©2004 John Little, Monica Ariel Mihell, and William James Durant Easton; (P)2004 Durant archival recordings 1957-1977 used with permission of John Little, Monica Ariel Mihell, and William James Durant Easton

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (348 )
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3.9 (202 )
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  •  
    Charlie 01-02-12
    Charlie 01-02-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Interesting Perspective"

    I found it very interesting to hear the Durants' assessment of the events in history and learn the connections and conclusions that had been drawn by such outstanding students of history. It helped to put a variety of historical elements in perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Ventura, CA, United States 12-05-11
    Steve Ventura, CA, United States 12-05-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Valuable Lessons but too much Philosophy"
    If you could sum up The Lessons of History in three words, what would they be?

    There are clearly some valuable lessons from history in the book, and the Durants really know their stuff, but they would have been better off sticky to the facts of history and inlcuding less of their personal philosophies.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Westport, CT, United States 11-29-11
    Mark Westport, CT, United States 11-29-11
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    "Highly Recommended Listening"

    Will and Ariel Durant have a wealth of knowledge that is distilled into this book. The interviews alone are a treasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 10-20-11
    Robin 10-20-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Good Perspective"

    Kind of hard to listen when the actual author speaks but the book has great perspective on the journey of humanity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Danville, PA, USA 01-04-10
    Craig Danville, PA, USA 01-04-10
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    "Great, but only for a professional historian..."

    Will and Ariel Durant are fascinating in their look at the meaning and significance of history. It is not, however, a book mainstream history buffs would enjoy. It is dry, pedantic, and dense at moments, and if the reader/listener is not a professional historian or a VERY avid amateur this work will not be an enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Gallinaro Auburn, NH United States 07-24-07
    Frank Gallinaro Auburn, NH United States 07-24-07 Member Since 2007

    Lover of good ideas

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    "A fair presentation of history"

    The presentation style made the book a somewhat stilted. While the subject matter was excellent, the way it was told and going back and interviewing the authors using very poor quality audio did not add to my evaluation of this book. Good for a quick over view but there are better books if you want an overview of history and philosophy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett Lehi, UT, USA 05-02-07
    Brett Lehi, UT, USA 05-02-07
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    "Interesting"

    I enjoyed this very much. The interviews were good (although a few were poor audio quality). It is always easier to like a book when the general position is in agreement with your own. His observations on history are informative although not always the way I look at them. Durrant has a very materialistic (non-spiritual) prism he looks though, but the interesting thing is that it leads him to many of the same conclusions that a more spiritual person would draw. I think the most fascinating aspect is his obvious conversion from a socialistic perspective to a more devine perspective (although not necessarily supporting or believing in God, he supports man's needs for such a concept). A good listen - even the second time through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Capt. Scottsdale, AZ, United States 09-18-05
    Capt. Scottsdale, AZ, United States 09-18-05
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    "Lessons of History"

    The most insightful vision of Philosophy and History I have ever encountered. Durant's work is absolute genius!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 12-07-11
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 12-07-11 Member Since 2010
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    "wrong on almost every front"

    This book is interesting only from the perspective that it was written a while back and we can see that almost without fail every prediction of future trends based on the authors academic studies was completely and utterly wrong. This book stands as a testament to the the bias ingrained in academia, the utter failure of leftist intellectuals to understand the world or interpret reality.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    miguel angel soteldo Mayfield Village, OH, US 04-06-13
    miguel angel soteldo Mayfield Village, OH, US 04-06-13
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    "Excellent book, Great Narrator"
    Would you listen to The Lessons of History again? Why?

    Yes


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lessons of History?

    The entire book is about memorable moments. The Roman and medieval times, the story of Ignatius Loyola were particularly interesting to me.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Gardner's narrations enhances the story with his timbre and entonation.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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