Is human progress real, or does history just repeat itself? As civilizations rise and fall, does humanity itself move forward? In The Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant provide their respected historical analysis of civilization and human progress. They argue that history generally repeats itself because human nature doesn’t change. However, they believe we’ve entered unprecedented times and have a reason for cautious optimism. Read more to learn a historical perspective of human progress.
What causes war? Is war inevitable and even necessary? In The Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant share what they learned about war in their extensive research of human history. What causes war, they conclude, are the same factors that cause individuals to fight. They also reflect on war and peace in the era of the global communist threat. Read more to learn a historical perspective on what causes war.
What was Ernest Hemingway’s time in Paris like? How did living in Paris affect Hemingway’s writing? In A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway details his life in Paris in the 1920s. During this time, he described himself as young, poor, and happy. Here is an overview of what it was like for Ernest Hemingway in Paris.
Are revolutions justified? How do tyrannies rise? What lessons can we learn about government in history? In The Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant provide an overview of government in history. They examine Plato’s “five regimes” and show how this model played out in Greece and Rome. They also comment on revolutions, democracy, and tyranny—through the historical lens. Read more to learn about the government in history.
Did you know that personal medical data is sold? How and when did this practice start and why is it a problem? In Our Bodies, Our Data, Adam Tanner shares a useful history of how resold medical data became increasingly personal and detailed over time. He identifies some of the key players in the healthcare data industry and how they gather and share information. Read more for a history of resold medical data.
What happens in Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast? What was it like to be a writer in Paris in the 1920s? In Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, Hemingway describes what it was like to live in Paris in the early 1920s as a writer. He talks about his relationships with other writers, the struggles of poverty and hunger, and what it was like to be part of the “Lost Generation.” Here’s an overview of Hemingway’s vignettes.
What is the story of morality in history? How have morals and vices changed over time? In The Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant dedicate a chapter to morality in history, following its path from the hunting era to industrial times. They argue that morals reflect what is needed for the individual and society to survive at a given time. Read more to learn about morality in history.
What was the relationship between Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway? What did Hemingway think of Stein? Why did their friendship come to an end? In his memoir A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway described his friendship with the writer Gertrude Stein. He and his wife Hadley would often visit each other’s houses and discuss topics such as writing and social issues. However, Hemingway and Stein ended up falling out. Here goes the story of Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway’s relationship.
Have you considered biology’s place in history? How has humanity’s struggle to survive been a factor? In The Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant assert that biology is a driving force in history. Specifically, there are three biological forces that shape human behavior and thus human history: competition, selection, and the need to reproduce. These forces are part of life’s struggle to survive. Read more to learn how the struggle to survive shapes human history.
Do you wonder what we can learn from history? What can it tell us about the world and ourselves today? In The Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant present the most compelling patterns they found in their extensive research of human history. These patterns teach us important lessons about human nature, society, economics, government, religion, war, and civilization itself. Read more to see what we can learn from history.