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Will Durant

William James Durant (/dəˈrænt/; November 5, 1885 - November 7, 1981) was an American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant and published between 1935 and 1975. He was earlier noted for The Story of Philosophy (1924), described as "a groundbreaking work that helped to popularize philosophy".He conceived of philosophy as total perspective, or, seeing things sub specie totius, a phrase inspired by Spinoza's sub specie aeternitatis. He sought to unify and humanize the great body of historical knowledge, which had grown voluminous and become fragmented into esoteric specialties, and to vitalize it for contemporary application.Will and Ariel Durant were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1968 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Will Durant Foundation (http://will-durant.com/bio.htm) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

The Best 12 Books on Will Durant

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The Lessons of History

A concise survey of the culture and civilization of mankind, The Lessons of History is the result of a lifetime of research from Pulitzer Prize–winning historians Will and Ariel Durant.

With their accessible compendium of philosophy and social progress, the Durants take us on a journey through history, exploring the possibilities and limitations of humanity over time. Juxtaposing the great lives, ideas, and accomplishments with cycles of war and conquest, the Durants reveal the towering themes of history and give meaning to our own.
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Caesar and Christ: The Story of Civilization, Volume III

The Story of Civilization, Volume III: A history of Roman civilization and of Christianity from their beginnings to A.D. 325. This is the third volume of the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning series.
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Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization, Volume I

The Story of Civilization, Volume I: A history of civilization in Egypt and the Near East to the Death of Alexander, and in India, China, and Japan from the beginning; with an introduction on the nature and foundations of civilization. This is the first volume of the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning series.
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The Reformation: The Story of Civilization, Volume VI

The Story of Civilization, Volume VI: A history of European civilization from Wyclif to Calvin: 1300-1564. This is the sixth volume of the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning series.
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The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers

A brilliant and concise account of the lives and ideas of the great philosophers—Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Spinoza, Voltaire, Kant, Schopenhauer, Spencer, Nietzsche, Bergson, Croce, Russell, Santayana, James, and Dewey—The Story of Philosophy is one of the great books of our time. Few write for the non-specialist as well as Will Durant, and this book is a splendid example of his eminently readable scholarship. Durant’s insight and wit never cease to dazzle; The Story of Philosophy is a key book for any reader who wishes to survey the history and development of philosophical ideas in the Western world.
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The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time

A wise and witty compendium of the greatest thoughts, greatest minds, and greatest books of all time -- listed in accessible and succinct form -- by one of the world's greatest scholars.
From the "Hundred Best Books" to the "Ten Greatest Thinkers" to the "Ten Greatest Poets," here is a concise collection of the world's most significant knowledge. For the better part of a century, Will Durant dwelled upon -- and wrote about -- the most significant eras, individuals, and achievements of human history. His selections have finally been brought together in a single, compact volume. Durant eloquently defends his choices of the greatest minds and ideas, but he also stimulates readers into forming their own opinions, encouraging them to shed their surroundings and biases and enter "The Country of the Mind," a timeless realm where the heroes of our species dwell.
From a thinker who always chose to exalt the positive in the human species, The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time stays true to Durant's optimism. This is a book containing the absolute best of our heritage, passed on for the benefit of future generations. Filled with Durant's renowned wit, knowledge, and unique ability to explain events and ideas in simple and exciting terms, this is a pocket-size liberal arts and humanist curriculum in one volume.
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The Life of Greece: The Story of Civilization, Volume II

The Story of Civilization, Volume II: A history of Greek civilization from the beginnings, and of civilization in the Near East from the Death of Alexander to the Roman Conquest. This is the second volume of the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning series.
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The Age of Voltaire: The Story of Civilization, Volume IX

The Story of Civilization, Volume IX: A history of civilization in Western Europe from 1715 to 1756, with special emphasis on the conflict between religion and philosophy. This is the ninth volume of the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning series.
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Fallen Leaves: Last Words on Life, Love, War, and God

Praised as a “revelatory” book by The Wall Street Journal, this is the last and most personal work of Pulitzer Prize–winning author and historian Will Durant, discovered thirty-two years after his death.

The culmination of Will Durant’s sixty-plus years spent researching the philosophies, religions, arts, sciences, and civilizations from across the world, Fallen Leaves is the distilled wisdom of one of the world’s greatest minds, a man with a renowned talent for rendering the insights of the past accessible. Over the course of Durant’s career he received numerous letters from “curious readers who have challenged me to speak my mind on the timeless questions of human life and fate.” With Fallen Leaves, his final book, he at last accepted their challenge.

In twenty-two short chapters, Durant addresses everything from youth and old age to religion, morals, sex, war, politics, and art. Fallen Leaves is “a thought-provoking array of opinions” (Publishers Weekly), offering elegant prose, deep insights, and Durant’s revealing conclusions about the perennial problems and greatest joys we face as a species. In Durant’s singular voice, here is a message of insight for everyone who has ever sought meaning in life or the counsel of a learned friend while navigating life’s journey.
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The Complete Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage, Life of Greece, Caesar and Christ, Age of Faith, Renaissance, Age of Reason Begins, Age of Louis ... Revolution, Age of Napoleon, Reformation

The Complete Story of Civilization by Will Durant represents the most comprehensive attempt in our times to embrace the vast panorama of man’s history and culture. This eleven volume set includes: Volume One: Our Oriental Heritage; Volume Two: The Life of Greece; Volume Three: Caesar and Christ; Volume Four: The Age of Faith; Volume Five: The Renaissance; Volume Six: The Reformation; Volume Seven: The Age of Reason Begins; Volume Eight: The Age of Louis XIV; Volume Nine: The Age of Voltaire; Volume Ten: Rousseau and Revolution; Volume Eleven: The Age of Napoleon
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The Renaissance: The Story of Civilization, Volume V

The Story of Civilization, Volume V: A history of civilization in Italy from 1304-1576. This is the fifth volume of the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning series.
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The Story of Civilization (11 Volume Set)

The Complete Story of Civilization by Will Durant represents the most comprehensive attempt in our times to embrace the vast panorama of man's history and culture. This eleven-volume set includes: Volume One - Our Oriental Heritage; Volume Two - The Life of Greece; Volume Three - Caesar and Christ; Volume Four - The Age of Faith; Volume Five - The Renaissance; Volume Six - The Reformation; Volume Seven - The Age of Reason Begins; Volume Eight - The Age of Louis XIV; Volume Nine - The Age of Voltaire; Volume Ten - Rousseau and Revolution; Volume Eleven - The Age of Napoleon
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IF YOU’D LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WILL DURANT, YOU CAN FIND HIM ON HIS Website, Facebook , Twitter , Instagram AND Youtube