• The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time

  • By: Will Durant
  • Narrated by: John Little
  • Length: 3 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 19-12-03
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (34 ratings)


Best-selling historian and philosopher Will Durant devoted his entire life to studying the most significant eras, individuals, and achievements of human history. Here is a summation of Durant's work, as he presents the best of world history, from "The One Hundred Best Books for an Education" to "The Ten Greatest Thinkers," "The Ten Greatest Poets," "The Ten Peaks of Human Progress," and "Twelve Vital Dates in Human History." Filled with Durant's renowned wit, knowledge, and unique ability to explain events in simple and exciting terms, it is a concise liberal arts education.
©2003 John Little and the Estate of Will Durant; 2002 John Little, Monica Ariel Mihell, and William James Durant Easton (P)2003 The Audio Partners Publishing Corp.
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Critic reviews

"This compact work is a gem that elevates historical writing to the level of superb literature." ( Booklist)
"[An] engaging, accessible book of essays...in prose peppered with biographical bon mots and excerpts of the world's loveliest poems. Lay folks especially will find this a delightful introduction to Durant's irrepressible style." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Thomas on 11-07-07

Poor choice of narator lets excellent title down

This titlte is another jewel from Will Durant but I can not recommend it due to the poor naration. The voice is flat and makes the book unlistenable. This has nothing to do with the sound quality and is due to the reader. I advise listening to the excellenty narated 'The Story of Philosophy' by the same author and compare prior to purchase. I will be seeking to return this title.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By David on 06-07-13

Durant being Durant, not a bad thing...

Will Durant was nothing if not an unashamed elitist and his personal take on the greatest minds and figure in history are fairly well justified, though he admits himself his choice of greatest poets is somewhat personal! Some of the other choices might be considered in the same light. Well worth as listen though.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Arthur Pendragon on 07-02-16

Great Summary

If you could sum up The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time in three words, what would they be?

Overview. Fascinating. Inspiring.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time?

The entire book was exceptional.

Which character – as performed by John Little – was your favorite?

Too difficult to choose.

Any additional comments?

This book is supposed to be an overview, so the reviews that criticize this book as being "too fast" do not seem to be taking in to account the very objective of this book in that it is meant to be a summary. This book is well worth the read, as are the other books by Will Durant. I highly recommend them.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Ted on 25-03-06

Too Fast

Whilst the content was interesting, the narrator read way too fast. I could not absorb much of the content. As a result I did not enjoy the book. This is the first time I have had this issue with audio books. From now on I will always listen to sample before purchase.

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25 of 29 people found this review helpful

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