I wouldn’t expect an account of some 11,000 pages to be anywhere near perfect. To point out that the Durant’s may have emphasized the importance of art beyond what you think is sufficient is to me a bit trivial.
If I remember correctly, ( I read these books probably 20-25 years ago) one of the Durant’s points was that art was one of the few things they found valuable in the study of history as works of art are one of the few things that past contributes to the present (or word to that effect). I found this particularly elitist at the time and it is still my feeling.
That being said, I agree the work was and is a major study that I wouldn’t even begin to attempt to reproduce.
you find geography and technology more important than the Durant’s found art.
That may be because my interest lies in the lives, struggles and conditions of the common people rather than the elites.
Are you familiar with Daniel Boorstin (spelling?) I’ve been meaning to have a look at “The Discoverers” and his other stuff. Relatively new to the world of history (one I’m having fun with and glad I inquired), I’m trying to pick and choose who to spend my time with in terms of authors. It seems the subject of history has an endless array from which to choose.
I haven’t read much Boorstin (and am not sure of the spelling either), what I have found most useful as a background to most written history is Jared Wrights works such as “Guns, Germs and Steel” and “The Third Chimpanzee”. Also Brian Fagan’s “The Great Warming” dealing with climate change, Robert S. Desowitz”s Who Gave the Pinta to the Santa Maria, dealing with the spread of disease. Apocalypse by Amos Nur with Dawn Burges , is good with dealing the background of the early middle-eastern civilizations and some of the stories in the Bible. Just one more Phillip Ziegler “The Black Death, gives a background to European history and the commercial revolution of the 1400’s that is difficult to pick up in reading regular political history.
Much of commonly written history is basically the actions of various human and disregard the physical environment and without the background that the above type of books provide, cam become merely the story of competing elites without giving any of the underlying causes of the complex underlying factors that caused and influenced the conflict.
I’m trying to pick and choose who to spend my time with in terms of authors. It seems the subject of history has an endless array from which to choose. I’d like to know more about Mr. Dennett as well
Okay I will get off the reading list now as it never ends. Dennett is not a historian, but a philosopher, and “Breaking the Spell” is an attempt to put the investigation of religion on a scientific basis