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The Story of Civilization : The Age of Reason Begins Hardcover – July 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Fine Communications (July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567310184
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567310184
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Peter A. Hauck VINE VOICE on September 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In this, the seventh volume of the unparalleled series "The Story of Civilization," Dr. Will & Ariel Durant have compiled a compelling rendition of historical fact covering nearly a century of Europe's past from the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558 A.D. to the death of Descartes in 1650 A.D..

The reader will be treated to vivid historical recounts concerning: Phillip II of Spain and his "invincible armada." Elizabeth I of England, the "Virgin Queen." The Hapsburg Family. The Thirty-Years' War. The Puritan Revolution in England. Spain's fierce struggle to subdue the Netherlands. Europe's disillusionment following the brutalities of the religious wars. Cardinal Richelieu of France. And much, much more including plates and maps.

The Durants have created a prose which is free-flowing and easy to understand. This book, designed to stand alone or within the series, is a masterpiece of historical accuracy to be enjoyed by professional and layperson alike. I rate it as five stars. Superb!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Scott McCrea on January 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Will and Ariel Durant shine again in their seventh book of their history of European civilization. The given detailed attention to Shakespeare, Elizabeth I, Henri Quarte, Phillip II, Montaigne and many others.
The prose sparkles with wit, verve, pith and an unflagging interest and love for the subject of history and the homeland of my ancestors.
Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Van Wagoner VINE VOICE on May 12, 2008
I have just read the 7th volume of the amazing Story of Civilization, and continue to be impressed with this series. This volume focuses on European civilization from 1558 - 1648 and focuses on such great minds as Shakespeare, Bacon, Montaigne, Rembrandt, Galileo and Descartes. From a political perspective, it focuses on the reigns of Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I, and James I of England; Philip II, III, and IV of Spain; Henry III, IV, and Richelieu in France; and the interesting histories of the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, and Russia. The book also touches on the Islamic world at this time.

Durant's prose is very readable and it is also easy to see his likes and dislikes of the characters in history. I personally like to be able to understand how an historian feels about his subject and I have learned to respect his opinions. I'm amazed at how bloody this part of European history was. I knew that the time of the reformation was filled with wars, but didn't realize how long it lasted after the reformation. This volume also shows how difficult it is for man to accept change, though this time frame does begin to show some positive ideas being accepted. From a religious freedom perspective, it is incredible how difficult and painful of a process it was to arrive at the freedoms we take for granted. Reading history really makes me grateful for what we are blessed with.

I highly recommend this series and volume to anyone wanting to understand the story of our civilization. It is filled with beauty and horror. Let us learn from the lessons of history.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By docpetersn on April 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased "The Age of Reason Begins" and "The Age of Louis iV" for my Kindle. I did so to refer to the history that is covered in Dumas' d'Artagnan saga, which I had also purchased for Kindle. The ability to go back and forth to the history books profoundly adds to the pleasure of reading the Dumas novels. The history books were very accurately transcribed for Kindle, and The Durant's beautiful prose is always a delight. The only criticism I have is not of the Durant books, but is of the transcription of the d'Artagnan saga: many annoying misprints--but not enough to destroy the reading experience. However, I repeat, the transcription of the Durant books is excellent; and the reproduction of the potraits of Richelieu, La Valliere, Mazarin, and Louis IV in the Durant books is a bonus to the whole experience.
Viva Amazon! for Kindle and for Kindle Books,Viva!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Van Wagoner VINE VOICE on May 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have just read the 7th volume of the amazing Story of Civilization, and continue to be impressed with this series. This volume focuses on European civilization from 1558 - 1648 and focuses on such great minds as Shakespeare, Bacon, Montaigne, Rembrandt, Galileo and Descartes. From a political perspective, it focuses on the reigns of Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I, and James I of England; Philip II, III, and IV of Spain; Henry III, IV, and Richelieu in France; and the interesting histories of the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, and Russia. The book also touches on the Islamic world at this time.

Durant's prose is very readable and it is also easy to see his likes and dislikes of the characters in history. I personally like to be able to understand how an historian feels about his subject and I have learned to respect his opinions. I'm amazed at how bloody this part of European history was. I knew that the time of the reformation was filled with wars, but didn't realize how long it lasted after the reformation. This volume also shows how difficult it is for man to accept change, though this time frame does begin to show some positive ideas being accepted. From a religious freedom perspective, it is incredible how difficult and painful of a process it was to arrive at the freedoms we take for granted. Reading history really makes me grateful for what we are blessed with.

I highly recommend this series and volume to anyone wanting to understand the story of our civilization. It is filled with beauty and horror. Let us learn from the lessons of history.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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