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Summary: The Lessons of History By Will and Ariel Durant

Narrated by: R. Newton
Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
Categories: History, Ancient
4.5 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Lessons of History was written in 1968 by Pulitzer Prize-winning historians Will and Ariel Durant. Originally, it was written as part of the authors' 11-volume The Story of Civilization. This book represents an overview of the themes and lessons observed from the last 5,000 years. 

(Disclaimer: This is NOT the original book. If you’re looking for the original book, it is available from Amazon and Audible.)

Summarizing the most important periods and trends in history, this series of 13 essays takes us on a journey through time, exploring the possibilities and limitations of humanity, as well as documenting the great lives, accomplishments, and ideas that have shaped our history.

Will and Ariel Durant provide perspectives and draw conclusions by looking into changes and trends in economics, politics, military, religion, and even geography.

The Lessons of History reveals the larger than life themes of our heritage and gives added meaning to our future.

©2018 Daniel Bryant (P)2018 Daniel Bryant

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Packed with Nuggets of Insights

This is an excellent read! The book is very short however I often found myself pausing and pondering the many stories, or merely having a conversation with others on a chapter. Worth the small cost!

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Distilled incredible wisdom

The Durants press their opinion with a degree of optimism, while leaving open the responses for posterity. This is an excellent companion book for discussion groups. I enjoyed reading it.

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History from different perspectives

A quick read, relatively speaking. I have heard of Will & Ariel Durant as historians for many years, but never having read any of their work, I believed this summary book would be a great place to begin. The book is a simple read, helpful, yet not dry like many history text books can be. I discovered that some of the Durants' assertions challenge the "standard," however I would need to state that they (the Durants) simply followed the evidence that history gave them.

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Enduring Ideas

This summary book covers a broad scope in a brief space, it's densely loaded with insights and opinions, sometimes provocative ones, and in fact there's a lot here to absorb that I'll have to reread this book again before trying a comprehensive review. This is a significant education in one short book.

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Amazing History!

Provocative and does actually provide the best perspective to looking at history and our behaviors and systems through the lens of time. I’ve absorbed some fascinating lessons here. I downloaded the audiobook version and it was very entertaining.

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Truthful and to the Point

What a cool little summary book to put things into perspective in a little under 80 pages. The book is entertaining and revealing. After reading it you will realize that time passes rapidly - just live it to the fullest! This book sums up pivotal times in our history and sets it straight; we reside in just a tiny fraction of time. I most definitely suggest this extremely instructional and amusing book.

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Philosophical lessons

Extremely fascinating to see a life-time of dedicated history research study simplified into important lessons. Great deal of thought-provoking concepts, such as freedom and equality being opposing goals in a society. You might not agree with everything they state however it will get you thinking.

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A Summary Worth the Price

Downloaded this summary off of Amazon prime. Left me feeling the limits of historical masculine thinking. It seemed like it was composed in a time way before expanded human consciousness, and the unanticipated turns of human advancement. Although I did learn from it.

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Short but Concise

Politics, economics/finance, war, science, technology, religious beliefs are all woven together for the open minded to consider. It's an easy read, clear flowing language with digestible chapters that leave much to talk about.

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Timeless and important

This book covers major themes, from the Durant’s life long study of world history, in broad brush strokes. All chapters are fantastic points for various discussions about the individual, society, and the relationships in between.

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  • Jacob
  • 03-19-19

Understanding Our Future

This audiobook is suggested to anybody that doesn’t have time to pour through volumes of history books. It takes a look at early democracies, socialistic states, military states etc. and with succinct clarity.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Randall S. M
  • 03-22-19

Educational and compelling

This audio summary covers a large scope of history in a short time, it's densely packed with insights and opinions, sometimes provocative ones. Giving many historical examples and insights along the way on the subjects of geography, biology, religion, economics, socialism, and world government.

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  • Raymundo
  • 03-21-19

Chronological account of World History

Well narrated, this works as a brief summary of history as it deals with politics, governments, wars and more. It's an extremely interesting listen that will leave everyone questioning our future.

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  • Terry J. Wiggins
  • 03-21-19

A Look into the Wide Landscape of History

Very big ideas simplified into easy to comprehend essays. This is an essential precursor to any serious pursuit of history, whether for plain old history enthusiasts or more importantly, students pursuing the historical study.

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  • Barbara K. Talley
  • 03-19-19

Lessons for Us All

This book helped me recognize that most of us look at history in terms of weeks or a few years, instead of centuries as we should. As a species, we keep making the same foolish mistakes over and over since we're so brief sighting. I learned a great deal.

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  • Michael B. Cruz
  • 03-17-19

A Summary Worth the Price

Provocative and does really give the best point of view to taking a gander at history and our practices and frameworks through the perspective of time. I've ingested some captivating exercises here. I downloaded the book recording rendition and it was engaging.

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  • Hector W. Busby
  • 03-17-19

Leaves you Wanting More!

It was fascinating to find parallels between current events and those that happened more than two thousand years back.

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  • Lorie S. Martina
  • 03-17-19

Truthful Point

The extraordinary arrangement of intriguing ideas, for example, opportunity and uniformity being contradicting objectives in general public. You probably won't concur with all that they state anyway it will make you think.

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  • Holly T. Stokes
  • 03-17-19

Provides deep insight

This book provides valuable perspectives from education to politics and war throughout our vast history and gives us an appreciation of our current time.

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  • Diane C. Dee
  • 03-17-19

Taking the Long-View on our History

This book provides a keen perspective on both current conservative and liberal views as well as world events like no other short-form history book I’ve listened to.