Monday, January 28, 2013

The Lessons of History (1)

Will and Ariel Durant spent over fifty years completing the critically acclaimed series "The Story of Civilization," and were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction in 1968. 

Their short and charming publication "The Lessons of History" extracts lessons and insights from their lifelong research and presents them in highly readable essays.

A few sample chapter titles: 
  • History and the Earth
  • Morals and History
  • Character and History
  • Economics and History
  • Socialism and History
  • Government and History
  • Growth and Decay
The Economics and History chapter touches on how wealth becomes concentrated, and then distributed, over the centuries. Here is the closing paragraph:
We conclude that the concentration of wealth is natural and inevitable, and is periodically alleviated by violent or peaceable partial redistribution. In this view all economic history is the slow heartbeat of the social organism, a vast systole and diastole of concentrating wealth and compulsive recirculation.
That rings true.

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