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Heroes of History

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  356 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
In the tradition of his own bestselling masterpieces "The Story of Civilization" and "The Lessons of History, " Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Will Durant here traces the lives and ideas of those who have helped to define civilization, from its dawn to the beginning of the modern world. Four years before his death, Will Durant began work on an abbreviated version of his ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 6th 2001 by Simon & Schuster
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(showing 1-30 of 958)
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Alex Telander
Jan 30, 2011 Alex Telander rated it liked it
The well-known author of the last century, Will Durant, died in 1981. This manuscript was found only a year ago practically in its completed form. It is a treasure of the literary world. Durant’s oeuvre during his lifetime was an eleven-volume series entitled The Story of Civilization, where he focused on an age in each book and gave history lesson that had never really been given before with this Herculean collection.

The result was a most unique series which had the unintended effect of appeari
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
A book to treasure.. It was a wonderful experience,reading it.. Not too much beating around the bush,not too brief,this book describes just those things that influenced the history of mankind in a big way. It is more like a general reader's handbook of world history. The personal touch in the writing style,rather than the dull descriptive way of writing,adds to the charm,giving one a feel of getting personally acquainted with most of the personalities described in the book..
But at certain place
Kozam Amd
أوهمني الكاتب في البداية بأنه سيسرد تاريخ الأمم التي سادت كوكب الأرض فابتدأ بكنفوشيوس في الصين
ثم بوذا في الهند
ثم الفراعنة وأهراماتهم
كل هذا في أول 50 صفحة من الكتاب
ثم دخل أوربا ولم يخرج منها!!! ابتدأ باليونان ثم الرومان ثم المسيحية

أغضبني تجاهله للحضارة الإسلامية فهذا الكتاب هو ملخص لقصة الحضارة وعدم إدراجه لحضارة المسلمين يعني أنه لم يعترف بأن لهم دور في قصة الحضارة

صدمني تاريخ أوربا المليء بالجرائم وقمع الثورات بشكل وحشي وقتل المدنيين عند دخول المدن .. والإعدام على الخازوق والحرق تكررت بشكل كبير

Heidi Burkhart
Mar 25, 2016 Heidi Burkhart rated it it was amazing
I am a big fan of the Durant's writing. Another wonderful book.
Apr 11, 2016 Gabe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, to me this was a way to try something else for a while, something other than just fiction and literature. So, I said why not go back to learn more history, as I am also a big fan of history and I do believe that we have so much to learn from what ever happened in the past, so we can be better prepared for what may happen in the near future.

This is a very, very compressed version of the history of civilization and religion, but I would stress a lot the fact it is an extremely compressed ver
D.L. Morrese
Apr 24, 2016 D.L. Morrese rated it liked it
Durant's 'heroes' of history are far from perfect. In most cases, their flaws exceed their virtues. But there is no doubt they were all influential. What I find most interesting is that in times of crisis, someone invariably arises who provides a pivot point that shifts the flow of history one way or another. Someone who has been pushed too far and who has the necessary combination of ideas, personality, and circumstances, ends up being a catalyst for change, sometimes good, sometimes not so goo ...more
John Martindale
I've been absurdly busy lately, but with little listening here and a little there, I was able to finish this audiobook. I think the title in misleading. Its a brief history of 1,000s of years crammed into 350 pages. Durant spent most of his time writing about Rome, Greece, Jesus, church history, the renaissances, Popes, the crusades, the reformation and plenty of other tragedies.
Jul 29, 2008 Bronson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book. Its my first time reading Will Durrant and I am very impressed. He walks you through history with such familiarity you'd think he'd lived through it all. The book reads like a conversation rather than a lecture.
David Huff
Jan 08, 2016 David Huff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-book
A great summary of the panorama of world history, much more concise than his great multi-volume master work. Durant was working on this when he died, which I imagine explains why it concludes with Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, and the dawn of the Age of Reason.

An interesting journey through early history, Greece, Rome, and quite a long stay in the realm of Church history, the Renaissance, Reformation, and Catholic Counter-Reformation. Durant's beautiful prose often makes history read like a compel
Jul 05, 2015 Natasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I have an eleven volume set of Durant's Story of Civilization on my bookshelf. So far I have read (skimmed through) only one of the volumes. It is a massive work and daunting. What I love about Heroes of History is that Durant summarizes the key points of those 11 volumes and condenses them into this little gem.

In 350 pages, Durant summarizes the lessons he learned in a lifetime study of civilization. His writing style is engaging. A very worthwhile read!
Ranya Mandilla
Jan 30, 2016 Ranya Mandilla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ابطال من التاريخ ..هو ليس كتاب تاريخي بل رحله تاريخيه ترحل بنا الي قرون ماضيه الي عصور الاغريق والرومان وعصر النهضه ورافائيلو ومايكل انجلو صراعات البابوات والاصلاحات الدينيه في عمق اوربا . نشتم رائحه التاريخ الادبي ,الفكرى ,العلمي,الفني والديني للقاره العجوز ونلمح شخصياتها وقاماتها التاريخيه التي اضافت وبصمت باصابعها بصمه بارزه علي تاريخ الانسانيه ..
كتاب تاريخي دسم الي ااقصي درجات الدسامه وممتع الي اقصي درجات الامتاع .
لا شي يعيب الكتاب سوي قصوره علي سرد جوانب التاريخ الغربي فقط ..ولكن عندما ندرك
Robert Delikat
Dec 30, 2010 Robert Delikat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always have the compulsion to reconcile a book with its title. I am chagrined when I am unable to do that. It is like those covers of books that suck you in and leave you knowing in the end what they mean by the expression “artistic license.” Someone reviewed this book and thought a more appropriate title would be a View of History From 30,000 feet. I agree. It is more a distillation of thousands of years of human history down to 12 hrs and 10 min than about heroes. However, if you have ever t ...more
Peter Swenson
Pretty interesting general overview of world history, but strangely taking a very long detour with the history of Catholicism. I'd have liked more of a focus on scientists, politicians and the rest of the world events that were going on while the Catholics were doing their stuff in Europe.
Oct 24, 2012 May rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hard not to compare this audiobook to Neil McGregor's A History of the World in 100 Objects, which I recently listened to. My main problem is the narrator's voice. I barely got through listening to the first several chapters before I finally had to give up. The narrator's voice is simply too monotone. I don't know if it's Durant's writing or if the narrator chose to read the script in a boring matter, but I found myself struggling to stay interested. Not really sure why Durant picked certain "hi ...more
Sameer Alshenawi
Dec 16, 2015 Sameer Alshenawi rated it really liked it
Interesting ..but no mention of any contribution by the Islamic civilization ....
May 12, 2009 Tom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historian Will Durant and his wife Ariel were working on a shorter version of one of their mammoth collections, intended as a television project. Both died before they finished, within days of each other, and this book is what was left, two or three chapters short of the end. What is here makes for a fine summary of Western civilization, with a chapter devoted each to China and India in the beginning. The final chapter discusses Francis Bacon and almost ends on a long quote of his on the art of ...more
Khalid Almoghrabi
Dec 12, 2013 Khalid Almoghrabi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
سير ابرز الأعلام الذين اثروا في البشرية على امتداد القرون الطويلة وحتى القرن السابع عشر ويتركز على اربع مناطق: السياسين والفنانين والمصلحين الدينية والفلاسفة واراد ديورانت ان يلخص كتابه العظيم قصة الحضارة بشخصياتها الأبرز فكان مجحفاً بحق روادها من غير الأوروبيين على غرار مافعه برتراند راسل في كتابه العظيم حكمة الغرب فالدور اوروبي بامتياز منذ عصر ارسطو وانتهاءً بالعصر الحديث لا يوجد ذكر لأي شيء من التاريخ الاسلامي او المصلحين فيه.
الكتاب ممتع بشكل عام ويروي باسلوب بسيط وقصصي سير حياة ابطال التاريخ
Jun 27, 2013 Darius rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
An interesting survey of (mostly European) history, with its greatest focus on the typical topics of Greece, Rome and the Renaissance. [There are also early chapters on China and India.]

This is not written as the one single book to provide a top-level summary. It works well for someone who has some grasp of the history and enjoys the way the book pauses on one character after another and provides the reader with some information and integration that fills out the picture.
Nov 24, 2012 Noman rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-books
This is an absolutely tremendous timeline of history. The timeline incorporates various civilizations and discusses notable figures throughout history. I learned more about world history from this book than I did from all my years in history class. This book also gives you a platform to study different key figures in history. I began to gain interest in several historical figures after reading this book. This is a must read for those who enjoy the history of the world.
Masen Production
Oct 16, 2013 Masen Production rated it it was amazing
“I have discovered late in life the magic of Will Durant & his grasp on history. His book is a prose that is easily digestible yet profound with deductions from past events. his knowledge in the ancient folklore to the medieval world till recent times is unparalleled.
I now rate him amongst the top history writers of all times. I will be indulging myself with a lot of Will Durant books.
I totally recommend this book. ”
Amir Seyab
May 28, 2015 Amir Seyab rated it liked it
good book
Dec 21, 2012 Dave rated it liked it
Interesting, but simply too much all together to really enjoy. It's likely better to be used as a superficial reference than a cover to cover read. I kept approaching it and then losing interest. I will say I'm glad I finally got through it. Fact is - the last quarter was probably the most interesting to me.
Osama Abdel Qader
عنوان الكتاب مضلل فهو لا يتحدث عن "أبطال" من التاريخ...
بل يتحدث عن تاريخ أوروبا في العصور الوسطى وتفاصيل الكنيسة في الجزء الأكبر منه...
الكتاب مغرق في تفاصيل محلية لا تهم القاريء العام...
لكنه لا يخلو من فائدة....
القسم الممتع فيه حين يتكلم عن دافنشي....
Oct 20, 2008 Elaine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to learn about history
Recommended to Elaine by: Lia
I loved this book because it was enlightening and educational. For the most part it is very readable and even a page turner in some parts. It basically reviews people and events who have had an impact on modern civilization and philosophy.
Nicole Marble
Mar 20, 2008 Nicole Marble rated it it was amazing
I've read history all my life, and this was a refresher course on European history, art and philosophy by Will Durant who studied it for his lifetime. Some of it was new to me, some not. But Durant breathed life into ideas that were once new.
May 23, 2011 Erika rated it liked it
Interesting walk through history from the Ancients to the Enlightenment. I learned a lot, and there's a lot to learn. The book itself is somewhat dated, so I wonder if we've learned more beyond. It can also be pretty slow going in spots.
Chet Makoski
Jul 28, 2012 Chet Makoski rated it it was amazing
Excellent. What I should have learned and hopefully remember. It makes our current times seem so civilized. I'm glad I didn't live in any previous century, and get to contribute today to the emergence of a world civilization.
Jul 05, 2015 Cat. rated it liked it
Published posthumously. I need to go back and finish this sometime -- only got to page 114. Good summaries of people important to the civilization of the world, not just the West. Quick read, but wrong time of year.
Aug 04, 2015 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-world
This book is perhaps the very best starting point to understand, and gain an appreciation for, history. Durant's prose makes the experience as enjoyable as reading your favorite novel. Highly recommended!
Jul 15, 2010 Jeanne rated it liked it
I thought this would be more about individuals, instead it was an abridged version of his history of civilization. I don't agree with him completely. about 2 1/2 stars.
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William James Durant was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for the 11-volume The Story of Civilization, written in collaboration with his wife Ariel and published between 1935 and 1975. He was earlier noted for his book, The Story of Philosophy, written in 1926, which was considered "a groundbreaking work that helped to popularize philosophy."

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