The Lessons of History

Ranked #1 in Survey, Ranked #7 in Reasoningsee more rankings.

Will Durant once wrote that "most history is guessing, & the rest is prejudice." Now, 33 years later, the Durants, in this peroration to their monumental "Story of Civilization," look back to record the lessons & conclusions of their 10-volume excursion into human folly & achievement--&, coincidentally, to determine what value historical guesswork & historians' predispositions may have in understanding the nature of humanity. Their reflections are thematic in nature, discussing the influence & effect upon history of certain qualities, institutions & movements:... more

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Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Lessons of History from the world's leading experts.

Ray Dalio Founder/Bridgewater AssociatesThe book I’d give [every graduating senior in college or high school] would be 'Lessons From History'. This is the Durants, they were maybe the greatest historians of all time. Anyway, of 5,000 years of history, probably wrote 5,000 pages on it, and they took this book - I think it’s 104 pages - and they took the themes of history, it could be from religion, natural resources, who knows, each one of these things, and they looked at it for themes of history through history. I think that, that would be great. (Source)

Naval Ravikant CEO & Co-Founder/AngelListGreat book. I really like how it summarizes some of the larger themes of history. Very incisive and, unlike most history books, is actually kind of small and it covers a lot of ground. (Source)

James Clear The Lessons of History might be the best book you can read in under one hour. @farnamstreet told me to read it and I suggest you do too. For an even shorter version, see the great thread below and my notes here: (Source)

Ryan Stephens @fatehshernu Pultizer Prize-winning historians Will and Ariel Durant wrote more than 50 books before distilling of all of their works and lessons learned in one, short 102-page book."The Lessons of History." My favorite takeaways here: (Source)

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