The Lessons of History

Authors: Will Durant, Ariel Durant Will and Arial Durant are historians who spent five decades studying world history and creating an 11-volume Story of Civilization. From Wikipedia: “It totals four million words across nearly 10,000 pages,…

Hillbilly Elegy

JD Vance does a nice job of story-telling in this book about his hillbilly family and their cultural origins. He really gives a voice to his people that we “urban elites” are unlikely to have…

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

There’s a lot to be learned from Benjamin Franklin. It’s nice to learn it from the man himself. Not a thorough autobiography by any means. It stops abruptly, long before the American Revolution. Franklin would…

Catherine the Great

I had a basic understanding of Catherine’s (her birth name was actually Sophia) story from The Romanovs. This was a much deeper dive into her story, chronicling the journey of this minor German princess to…

Einstein: His Life and Universe

There have been many biographies written of Albert Einstein. This one by Walter Isaacson is notably great for the incorporation of science, emotion, storytelling, and details. It describes Einstein’s theories, his thought experiments, and his…

Napoleon: A Life

Napoleon rewrote the rules of war in 19th century Europe, conquering pretty much everything in his path. The book explains how this (essentially middle-class, non-french) guy from Corsica became Emperor of France. And then he…