Will Durant

About Will Durant

William James Durant (1885 – 1981) was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization, eleven volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant. He was earlier noted for The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers, written in 1926, which one observer described as "a groundbreaking work that helped to popularize philosophy." Dr. Durant’s other works include Fallen Leaves: Last Words on Life, Love, War, and God, On the Meaning of Life, The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time, The Lessons of History, and The Heroes of History.

On Natural Disasters

By |2020-01-08T13:15:27-06:00August 29th, 2017|Categories: Family, Featured, Will Durant|

“At any moment a comet may come too close to the earth and set our little globe turning topsy-turvy in a hectic course, or choke its men and fleas with fumes or heat; or a fragment of the smiling sun may slip off tangentially–as some think our planet did a few astronomic moments ago–and [...]

The Map of Human Character

By |2019-06-06T03:43:12-05:00December 7th, 2015|Categories: Character, Civilization, Essential, Family, Featured, History, Timeless Essays, Will Durant, Wisdom|

(Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Will Durant as he examines the importance of history in human character.—W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher) “History” said Henry Ford, “is bunk.” As one who has written history for twenty-five years, and studied it for forty-five, I should largely agree with [...]

Chaos: The Gestating Principle of Civilization

By |2020-01-08T13:20:12-06:00November 25th, 2015|Categories: Civilization, Family, Featured, Quotation, Will Durant|

A certain tension between religion and society marks the higher stages of every civilization. Religion begins by offering magical aid to harassed and bewildered men; it culminates by giving to a people that unity of morals and belief which seem so favorable to statesmanship and art; it ends by fighting suicidally in the lost cause of the [...]

Why Do We Love Plato?

By |2019-10-30T12:32:53-05:00July 15th, 2015|Categories: Books, Family, Featured, Plato, Quotation, Will Durant|

Why do we love Plato? Because Plato himself was a lover: lover of comrades, lover of the intoxication of dialectical revelry, passionate seeker of the elusive reality behind thoughts and things. We love him for his unstinted energy, for the wild nomadic play of his fancy, for the joy which he found in life [...]

The Fall of Rome

By |2019-04-04T10:39:18-05:00November 7th, 2012|Categories: Family, Featured, Rome, Will Durant, Wisdom|

Will Durant A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential cause of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.—Caesar and Christ […]

The Map of Human Character

By |2019-10-30T12:33:13-05:00May 17th, 2012|Categories: Character, Family, Featured, History, Will Durant, Wisdom|

“History” said Henry Ford, “is bunk.” As one who has written history for twenty-five years, and studied it for forty-five, I should largely agree with the great engineer who put half the world on wheels. History as studied in schools—history as a dreary succession of dates and kings, of politics and wars, of the [...]


By |2019-04-04T10:39:30-05:00May 16th, 2012|Categories: Civilization, Family, Featured, Quotation, Will Durant, Wisdom|

Will Durant “Civilization is social order promoting cultural creation. Four elements constitute it: economic provision, political organization, moral tradition, and the pursuit of knowledge and the arts. It begins where chaos and insecurity end. For when fear is overcome, curiosity and constructiveness are free, and man passes by natural impulse towards the [...]

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