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Decoding Time’s Mysteries: A Laid-Back Journey Through “The Lessons of History” by Will Durant

Fasten your seatbelts! We’re zooming through the journals of human history with our trusty guide, Will Durant, in his glorious book “The Lessons of History”. Time-travel was never this fun, enlightening ... or disturbing.
by The Blinkist Team | Jul 4 2023
lessons of history


Have you ever fantasized about hopping into a DeLorean, gunning it to 88 mph, and seeing some serious history? From epic empires to gnarly battles, history is the ultimate action-thriller-romance saga.

But let’s be real: historical texts can be snorefests. Enter Will Durant’s “The Lessons of History”—think of history as a bingeworthy TV series, and this book is your too-awesome-to-miss season recap. We’re talking juicy, adventurous history that’s got you hooked. Let’s take a look at the history of history and see what we can take away.

What’s the Deal With “The Lessons of History”?

Here’s the deal: “The Lessons of History” is the highlight of Will Durant’s creation, “The Story of Civilization”, an 11-volume set of books covering both Eastern and Western civilizations. Imagine all the action, drama, and twists of history compressed into an enlightening and downright addictive crash course.

Durant is giving you the lowdown on human drama, the battle for love, and how beliefs have rocked worlds.

And those 11 volumes of “The Story of Civilization”? Only tackle them if you’re craving an encyclopedic brain boost.

Top 5 Revelations From “The Lessons of History” That Will Change Your View on Everything

1. The Human Parade: Still Marching to the Same Beat

We’ve built skyscrapers and played golf on the moon, but deep down, we haven’t changed. Power, wealth, and grabbing the spotlight? It’s what we live for. Durant shows us we’re basically history on repeat.

2. Earth: The Ultimate Puppet Master

Where you’re kicking, it matters big time. Durant shows how mountains, rivers, and climate have been pulling the strings of history. Earth’s been directing this play from day one. Think of it like Earth’s own game of Civilization VI.

3. The Money Gap Shuffle

Rich folks and not-so-rich folks have been doing this dance since forever. Sometimes it’s smooth waltzing; other times it’s a mosh pit. Durant shows us in “The Lessons of History” that the cash dance is age-old and still going strong.

4. The God Factor

People dig beliefs. Religions have been like the superglue holding societies together. But sometimes, too much glue gets things sticky. Durant throws light on the roller-coaster ride of religion through history.

5. The Remix of Civilizations

History loves a good remix. Empires go up, they party hard, and then they crash. Rinse and repeat. Durant’s spinning the tracks, teaching us to learn the moves so we can groove better in the future.

A Smooth Transition into More Awesome: Top 5 Picks on Blinkist

Now that your mind is racing, and you’re itching for more epic tales and insights, what’s next? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. If you’re vibing with “The Lessons of History” and want to keep the knowledge train going, we’ve handpicked the top 5 books on Blinkist that’ll quench your thirst for history and society.

1. “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari

Why settle for small-scale when you can go epic? “Sapiens” takes you on a roller coaster through the entire history of our species. From hunter-gatherers to world-dominating forces, it’s mankind’s ultimate backstory.

2. “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond

Why did some parts of the world develop advanced technologies while others didn’t? “Guns, Germs, and Steel” rejects explanations that rely on assumptions about the relative intelligence of different peoples. Instead, it argues that the divergence of human societies is best explained by natural factors such as climate, biology, and geology.

3. “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World” by Peter Frankopan

Change your focus and travel the ancient trade routes that shaped our world. “The Silk Roads” is an eye-opener that makes you rethink the centers of power and culture. It’s the world map, redrawn.

4. “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion” by Jonathan Haidt

The Righteous Mind (2012) explores how moral decisions are made, concluding that moral judgments stem from intuition, not logic. Haidt draws on his background in social psychology and 25 years of groundbreaking research to explain how morality both binds us and divides us.

5. “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” by Steven Pinker

Think the world’s going downhill? Pinker wants you to chill. This book is all about how we’ve actually been getting better at not killing each other. It’s like a high-five to humanity through the ages.

Fuel Up Your Knowledge Tank with Blinkist

Puh, what a wild ride through time and space with “The Lessons Of History” and our Blinkist Library! But guess what? The adventure doesn’t have to end here. With Blinkist, you’ve got the keys to a treasure trove of knowledge right at your fingertips. And get this, Blinkist offers a sweet free trial that lets you explore over 6500+ book summaries across various niches – history, self-help, science; you name it!

So, don’t miss the chance to make the most of the free trial and dive into Blinkist’s sea of summaries. It’s like having a time-traveling library in your pocket. Ready, set, knowledge! 

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