The Age of Louis XIV (Story of Civilization 8)
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The Age of Louis XIV (The Story of Civilization #8)

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  292 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Hardbound with Dust Jacket
Published December 25th 1980 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1963)
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Will Durant, a 20th century philosopher and historian who died in 1981, is with his wife Ariel perhaps best known as the author of the eleven volume The Story of Civilization, a work that attempts to synthesize the histories of various cultural fields into an integrated whole from early recorded history through the Napoleonic era. In fact, it focuses almost exclusively on European history, although the first volume roams farther afield to include historical movements in the Middle and Far East....more
** Warning** these volumes are not for the faint of heart! What else can be said? Any book that is liable to give you tendinitis or require you to build a reading stand is most certainly going to be a challenge. Volume eight delivers just that and much more. I grew tired in reading this, perhaps it was a build up of the prior two books combined with this one but he goes on and on about the philosophy of these men that while relevant it seems wrongly placed. Thankfully he keeps poems to a minimum...more
I found this to be a good overview of that period of history. The book covers most of Western Europe (France, Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden--who knew the Swedes were ever such bad asses?, the Austrian Empire, Russia, etc.) without going into book-length detail on each country or empire. I think of it as a good way to discover interesting people or events that would then be worth reading more. Peter the Great sounds particularly interesting with his drive to drag Russia kicking and screaming o...more
To read Will Durant is to feast from the smorgasbord of human history. Before the reader lies the full scope of human concern, frailty, and accomplishment, like so many varied dishes. The chef is a master: Durant's supple use of the English language seasons even the most mundane of subjects to the point that they sound exotic and entertaining. After positively binging myself by reading The Age of Faith, The Renaissance, The Reformation, and The Age of Reason Begins during the summer and fall, I...more
James Violand
Jun 29, 2014 James Violand rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Shelves: own
This review applies to all Durant's History of Civilization. The author does not follow a strictly chronological approach, but emphasizes those events/personages that have developed our Western civilization. He tends to emphasize certain personalities - some of whom I take exception to - but he stresses those things which make Western man unique. The arts have a prominent place in developing our culture and Durant convinces the reader how important they are.
Buddy Don
Reading Durant (this is the eighth of eleven volumes) has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. Assuming I am lucky enough to finish the remaining three volumes, I'll write a more complete review. Until then, I recommend this series, The Story of Civilization, to anyone wanting an enlightening read couched in wonderfully witty prose.
This is a great book that covers, in dense detail, an epochal moment in history. It is long, but well worth the read. I appreciated the way Durant covers particular countries and regions--France, England, Spain, Italy, Russia, etc.--and also goes through miniature biographies of all of the major figures of the time. Also insightful were the lengthy discussions on religion, philosophy, and science. The era of Louis XIV was truly an amazing one; a turning point for humanity.
David Glad
Again, another engaging book by Will Durant that could keep me going -- literally on the treadmill in the case of the audiobook -- for so many hours.

Certainly the European alliances could well hint at future continental (and world) wars and definitely is "Age" in bringing us toward the present.

As I must sound repetitive, there are books covering time periods and part of this is listening for the author and Will Durant is always a treat.
Have been reading this series for years. Love all the personal detail about the people and facts. It is not long and boring, writes most important things to flesh out the story and people. Covered 1650 to 1715, interesting to know what was happening in Europe in those years--years some of my ancestors were driven to emigrate. I skipped most of the literature, science, etc. just read history. Easy to pick and choose.
Erik Graff
Jul 15, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Westerners
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
The second of Will and Ariel Durant's collaborations, this constitutes a very good general introduction to the period and, like all volumes of their Story of Civilization series, is strong on the ideologies, philosophies and sciences of the period as well as on political and cultural events and practices.
European Civilization in the Period of Pascal, Moliere, Cromwell, Milton, Peter the Great, Newtom and Spinoaz: 1648 to 1715. 802 pages. Donated to the library 2010 March.
This book is such a great one volume resource covering in significant detail so many major figures and events during this, my current favorite period of history. I loved it.
Jan 11, 2009 Norag is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
The period of Louis XIV. Apart from the silver prose of the authors, I'm enjoying the integral presentation of one of the most fecund period of mankind.
The Durant Series is a great place to start to learn history. They are extremely thorough and provide the ground for going into depth in history.
Marts  (Thinker)
May 21, 2011 Marts (Thinker) marked it as shelved  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Volume eight of the eleven volume 'Story of Civilisation' by Will and Ariel Durant... 'The Age of Louis XIV'...
Great. Will & Ariel Durant's The Story of Civilization is fascinating.
history,nonfiction,The Story of Civilization
Nov 21, 2009 Jonathan added it
Shelves: history
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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."

They were awarde...more
More about Will Durant...
The Story of Philosophy The Story of Civilization (11 Volume Set) The Lessons of History Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization, #1) Caesar and Christ (Story of Civilization, #3)

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