Other Books

The Lessons of History

Durant, Will - Finished Jul 15, 2016

Run-on Sentence Summary

Will and Ariel Durant, some of the best scholars of modern times, expound on the lessons they’ve learned by composing their massive 11-volume tome, “The Story Of Civilization.”


What an impressive book! Reading this alongside Bertrand Russell’s “The History of Western Philosophy”, I am afraid that I am giving myself a biased lens of history: that of the crusty old while dude. Durant has been criticized for being too conservative, with notions such as that all modern art is terrible and lacks meaning. However, looking beyond that it is clear that he is a first rate scholar with vast knowledge and insight, and even though I am reserved taking all of his opinions at face value, this book was still thought provoking, and that is the main criteria for how I value a book.

Final Thoughts

I listened to this audiobook straight through on a long road trip to Wanaka. Honestly, I could do with a closer reading, but it definitely had interesting ideas.

Favorite Quote

“If a man is fortunate he will, before he dies, gather up as much as he can of his civilized heritage and transmit it to his children, and to his final breath he will be grateful for this inexhaustible legacy, knowing that it is our nourishing mother and our lasting life.”