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.
"This is a must for every Educated Person"
The Age of Voltaire, the ninth volume of The Story of Civilization, is an in-depth examination of France and England in the first half of the 18th century.
"The Most Exquisite History Series"
The Age of Napoleon, the 11th and final volume of the Story of Civilization, surveys the amazing chain of events that wrenched Europe out of the Enlightenment and into the age of democracy. In this masterful work, listeners will encounter the French Revolution from the storming of the Bastille to the guillotining of the king; and the revolution's leaders - Danton, Desmoulins, Robespierre, and Saint-Just - all cut down by the reign of terror they inaugurated.
"A gift to humanity"
The Age of Reason Begins brings together a fascinating network of stories in the discussion of the bumpy road toward the Enlightenment. This is the age of great monarchs and greater artists - on the one hand, Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and Henry IV of France; on the other, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Montaigne, and Rembrandt. It also encompasses the heyday of Francis Bacon, Galileo, Giordano Bruno, and Descartes, the fathers of modern science and philosophy.
"Mostly 30 Years of War, but Reason bests War"
Rousseau and Revolution, the 10th volume of the Story of Civilization, ranges over a Europe in ferment, but centers on the passionate rebel-philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the great exponent of the romantic impulse toward self-exploration and social revolt, who contended with the great rationalist Voltaire for the mind of Europe.
"The Story of Civilization series is a graduate school education all by itself."
The Age of Louis XIV is the biography of a period (1648 - 1715) that Spengler considered the apex of modern European civilization. "Some centuries hence," Frederick the Great correctly predicted to Voltaire, "they will translate the good authors of the age of Pericles and Augustus." Those authors are lovingly treated here.
"One of the Best of a Great Series"