This is an unusual sort of history book: a history of ideas - and not just any old ideas, ideas from across time and space that are best suited to healing, enchanting and reviving us. It's a collection of humanity's very best thoughts on how to approach the challenges and joys of being alive.
Along the way, we travel around the world, from the very beginnings of our species right up to the modern age. We hear about the Ancient Greeks and Romans, we learn about Buddhism and Islam, we acquire ideas from Hinduism and the European Renaissance, the Enlightenment and Modernity. Deliberately eclectic, the book gives us a panoramic, 3,000-year view over the finest insights of a diversity of civilizations.
Every idea hangs off an image - it could be a place, a document, a building or a work of art - that has something very specific to teach us. There are ideas here that will stick in our minds because they can help to answer the biggest puzzles we may have: about the direction of our lives, the issues of relationships, the meaning of existence.
The book amounts to a feast for the intellect and the imagination - to make us into the best sorts of historians, those who know how to use the past to shed light on their own lives.
The School of Life is a global organisation helping people lead more fulfilled lives. We believe that the journey to finding fulfilment begins with self-knowledge. It is only when we have a sense of who we really are that we can make reliable decisions, particularly around love and work.
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