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Books > History > Europe > B004ZZS4YA
  1. The Life of Greece: The Story of Civilization, Volume II
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  2. The Life of Greece: The Story of Civilization, Volume II

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The Story of Civilization, Volume II: A history of Greek civilization from the beginnings, and of civilization in the Near East from the Death of Alexander to the Roman Conquest. This is the second volume of the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning series.

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Will Durant
Kindle Edition
Kindle eBook
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

I've always been fascinated by ancient Greece, and have enjoyed reading about it throughout the years. But they were all just bits and pieces of a much larger and complex story. Will and Ariel Durant's second volume of The Story of Civilization series picks up where it left right off. The book itself is highly readable, and it takes a real genius to take this history and summarize it in such a way that it's easy to read. It's not a beach book, but it's almost like having a brilliant professor tell you stories about interesting figures from our past without the burden of a test for a grade. In a way, it's like a historical version of a David Attenborough series.

There's no doubt that reading a 700 page book and the 10,000 page series is a tough endeavor to undergo, but once you get started, you're sucked in and enjoy the stories of historical figures and the average person. You learn about the literature, the architecture, and the battles. And you learned how Greece died a... Read more
What can explain the extraordinary cultural achievements of ancient Greece? Durant doesn't attempt an explanation, but he gives the Greek achievement its rightful due. Yet a major theme in this book is that every Greece has a Macedon: that when a society becomes culturally advanced, it also becomes weak, decadent, and ripe for barbarian conquest. In the first book in this series Durant observed that civilization must keep its powder dry; this could serve as the theme of this work as well. But while Greece itself succumbed first to Macedon and then to Rome, the Greek contribution to civilization has lasted to this day, and Greek culture to our eyes appears more modern than anything that came after it until the Renaissance. The fate of Athens provides a cautionary lesson that democracy is not infallible and cannot alone be the salvation of a nation. The book ends, as apparently all books on ancient Greece end, with a chapter called "The Coming of Rome." The end of a great... Read more
I have been listening to the informative history from Will Durant and am pleased with it. I recommend this history of Greek civilization. The history is sprinkled with various and sundry commentaries of Durant, and the untrained mind might not catch it. As with other historians, Durant makes some analogies that are appropriate and others that are not. He is somewhat condescending to Plutarch and other ancient historians and seems to forget that we all stand on the shoulders of giants. Then again, ego sometimes gets the best of us.
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