The Lessons of History

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by Will & Ariel Durant

A concise survey of the culture and civilization of mankind, The Lessons of History is the result of a lifetime of research from Pulitzer Prize–winning historians Will and Ariel Durant.

With their accessible compendium of philosophy and social progress, the Durants take us on a journey through history, exploring the possibilities and limitations of humanity over time. Juxtaposing the great lives, ideas, and accomplishments with cycles of war and conquest, the Durants reveal the towering themes of history and give meaning to our own.

My thoughts on The Lessons of History

History has always interested me. And there have been many great authors that have compiled patterns of history into digestible books. This one must be my favorite in that genre.

I first picked up my copy of this book when it was recommended by Ray Dalio. It was one of the shortest books I had read at the time – only about 100 pages. But wow, it sure packed a punch. If you want to have a general understanding of the history of topics such as the economy, religion, biology, and more, grab a copy of this book. The chapters are very short, but they carry so much in them. I’ve probably reread this book a dozen times, and each time I learn something new. Whenever you can find a book that you continually learn from, it’s worth far more than you think.

13 recommendations for The Lessons of History

13 recommendation for The Lessons of History

Book Summary

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You can’t fool all the people all the time,” but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.

— Will & Ariel Durant, The Lessons of History