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See my review of Volume I for comments of the series.
This is book seven of Durant’s The Story of Civilization.
This, like the other volumes of this series, is wonderful. It is beautifully written, integrated history of Europe over the period between 1559 and 1648. Notwithstanding the title, this only touches on the age of reason at the very end of the volume. Most of the text is dedicated to the struggles in England and the Thirty Years War. The details of war, other than the reasons for the war and the peace, are historical, but not intensely interesting (unless you are really into war). Thus, I did not enjoy this book as much as most of the others, nevertheless the sections on Shakespeare and Bacon, and the very end which covers Galileo and Descartes was fantastic and well worth the 30 years of warfare.
The integrated history attempts to cover all aspects of society in the period, living conditions, industries and commerce, crafts, arts, politics, economics, religion, fads, leaders, and spirit. There are dates, but that is not what it is about. The writing is targeted at general readers with an interest in history, and is a very easy listen.
The narration is clear and powerful and erudite.
I highly recommend this series – at least twice (separated by 10 years). This is my third time.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
The entire series is a national treasure. I grew up sifting through the volumes as did my own children. Words cannot convey my delight in finding them in audiobook version. While all three of the narrators are quite gifted, my personal favorite remains Grover Gardner. I'm quite impatient for the rest of the series to be available.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
fantastic ,what an amazing trip through history . it is written well and narrated perfectly , I could not stop listening .
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Brilliant. Durant is a brilliant writer. Gardner is a brilliant reader. What's not to love?
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Where does The Age of Reason Begins rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Europe and its periphery in the 16th and 17th centuries was a complex and varied world full of players, benefactors and custodians of the Renaissance and Reformations of the previous 3 centuries and one volume cannot hope to give a detailed account. Fortunately for us, this does not prevent Durant and co from having a well good go at it.
This book will give you a detailed, if not in-depth, understanding of key people, events and various influences in action during the age of 'enlightenment' in Western Europe.