Will Durant

Durant, William James

William James Durant, 1885–1981, American historian and essayist, b. North Adams, Mass. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1917 and published his doctoral dissertation, Philosophy and the Social Problem, in the same year. This was followed by The Story of Philosophy (1926), an immediate best seller that opened the way for a school of popularized history. Durant then embarked upon a life-long project, the writing of a comprehensive history of civilization. The Story of Civilization (11 vol., 1935–75; vol. 7–11 written with his wife, Ariel Durant) is a monumental work stretching from prehistory to the 19th cent.

See also their The Lessons of History (1968) and Interpretations of Life (1970).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2017, The Columbia University Press.

Will Durant: Selected full-text books and articles

On the Meaning of Life By Will Durant Ray Long & Richard R. Smith, 1932
Humanist Ethics, Dialogue on Basics By Morris B. Storer Prometheus Books, 1980
Librarian's tip: "Humanism in Historical Perspective" by Will Durant begins on p. 6
American Philosophy Today and Tomorrow By Horace M. Kallen; Sidney Hook Lee Furman, Inc., 1935
Librarian's tip: "An Amateur's Philosophy" by Will Durant begins on p. 117
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