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Ask Marilyn: What to Read About World History
John Marsiglia of Baltimore, Maryland, writes:
Marilyn: You once recommended several books on the history of the world. I believe they were written by a husband-and-wife team. Could you repeat the information? I purchased one of the books, but before I could read it, my son borrowed it, and it has since disappeared.
Happy to oblige! Here's the original question and answer:
Marilyn: I'm a 50-year-old woman with a high school education. How would I go about learning more about things like world history, geography, various religions, and politics? I would probably like reading "the classics," but I don't know exactly what that includes. I wish I had paid more attention to these subjects in school, but they just didn't seem important at the time. I travel a great deal, so college is not an option, but I do enjoy reading. But there are so many books, I don't know how to decide among them. What would you recommend for a novice? —Sheila Jones of Woodstock, Georgia
I'd recommend a series of books called The Story of Civilization by Will Durant, the U.S. historian and philosopher. Although Durant has been widely criticized by other historians and philosophers as being far too "popular," his works appear accurate, without prejudice, and are both enjoyable and easy to read. Finish with a slim volume (not part of the series) called The Lessons of History, also by Durant [and his wife Ariel].