This is the right book to read, to get a context of history. For an amateur historian like me, it provides the appropriate context to understand history beyond the chronology of events and people. The Lessons of History, by Will & Ariel Durant is a collection of twelve essays of history in different contexts. Race, earth, religion, war, economics, and such. Each essay looks at the role and impact of these contexts in history, in a relatively simple way, which, however, is not simplistic or reductionist. It has in it some very thought-provoking quotes (which I think I will be quoting for a long time now) which are quite relevant in today’s times. In fact, the entire book, written in 1968, is relevant even now. If you like philosophy of history, this is a definite read.