Synopses & Reviews
If you really want to use history like a tool in your day-to-day survival, you must understand the underlying principles of history and how to use those principles. Doing this requires that you see history differently-as something other than names and dates. You need to see history as motion. In other words, people and countries armies and economies move through time toward goals. These goals can be political, philosophical, religious, economic or anything else. In this book, we'll consider the various laws of historical motion. In USE HISTORY LIKE A TOOL, Levi goes on to examine the history of Western Civilization in a non-chronological way. His organizing theme is a series of rules that he believes control the movement of history, including Motion Looks for Niches Choices Define Circumstances (Not Vice-versa) Prohibition Never Works All Systems Ossify Economies Are Built from the Bottom Up Most People Think What's In It for Me? Entertainment Is Important Showing how these rules apply to people and history, Levi combines his versions of well-known historical events (Rome's Fall, the Italian Renaissance, the American Revolution, the Great Migration, the Cold War, etc.) with mundane events from everyday life (dealing with office politics, hiring the right people, making good financial decisions). It's an interesting-and unusual-read.
This survey of Western history focuses on the lessons of self-empowerment and decision-making that are often overlooked by traditional historians. Author Levi, who has been an instructor at several universities in California, stresses that history offers trends that illustrate the connections between ideas and action, and that the traditional "dates and places" approach can be augmented with this new vision. The net effect: Levi makes surprising useful comparisons between seemingly disparate things...for example, military conflicts of the 19th Century and business ethics of the 21st Century.