Review: The Lessons of History

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars A once-in-a-lifetime foundation reading, get it used,

January 13, 2004
Will Durant
Edit of 20 Oct 08 to use new feature to add links.

This is the first book that I discuss in my national security lecture on the literature relevant to strategy & force structure. It is a once-in-a-lifetime gem of a book that sums up their much larger ten volume collection which itself is brilliant but time consuming. This is the “executive briefing.”

Geography matters. Inequality is natural. Famine, pestilence, and war are Nature’s way of balancing the population.

Birth control (or not) has *strategic* implications (e.g. see Catholic strategy versus US and Russian neglect of its replenishment among the higher social and economic classes).

History is color-blind. Morality is strength. Worth saying again: morality is strength.

They end with “the only lasting revolution is in the mind of man.” In other words, technology is not a substitute for thinking by humans.

See my various lists. Other books I recommend:
The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past
Clock Of The Long Now: Time And Responsibility: The Ideas Behind The World’s Slowest Computer
Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography
Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin
The Age of Missing Information (Plume)
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution
Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century
Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Vote on Review

Vote on Review