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Heroes of History A Brief History of Civilization from Ancient Times to the Dawn of the Modern Age

ISBN-10: 0743235940
ISBN-13: 9780743235945
Edition: N/A
Authors: Will Durant
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Description: In the tradition of his own bestselling masterpieces The Story of Civilization and The Lessons of History, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Will Durant here traces the lives and ideas of those who have helped to define civilization, from its dawn to  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.00
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 1/28/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

In the tradition of his own bestselling masterpieces The Story of Civilization and The Lessons of History, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Will Durant here traces the lives and ideas of those who have helped to define civilization, from its dawn to the beginning of the modern world.Four years before his death, Will Durant began work on an abbreviated version of his highly acclaimed eleven-volume series, The Story of Civilization. The project was conceived as a series of audio lectures, but Durant soon realized that the dialogues could be developed into a book that would serve as a wonderfully readable introduction to the subject of history.Durant completed twenty-one of a proposed twenty-three chapters before his death in 1981, at the age of ninety-six. Those chapters span thousands of years of human history -- from Confucius to Shakespeare, from the Roman Empire to the Reformation, finally ending in the eighteenth century. The manuscript was recently found by Will Durant scholar John Little -- twenty years after Durant finished it -- and its discovery is a major event, not only for lovers of his prose, but for students of history and philosophy the world over.Heroes of History is a book of life-enhancing wisdom and optimism, complete with Durant's wit, knowledge, and unique ability to explain events and ideas in simple, exciting terms. It is the lessons of our heritage passed on for the edification and benefit of future generations -- a fitting legacy from America's most beloved historian and philosopher.Will Durant's popularity as America's favorite teacher of history and philosophy remains undiminished by time. His books are accessible to readers of every kind, and his unique ability to compress complicated ideas and events into a few pages without ever "talking down" to the reader, enhanced by his memorable wit and a razor-sharp judgment about men and their motives, made all of his books huge bestsellers. Heroes of History carries on this tradition of making scholarship and philosophy understandable to the general reader, and making them good reading, as well.At the dawn of a new millennium and the beginning of a new century, nothing could be more appropriate than this brilliant book that examines the meaning of human civilization and history and draws from the experience of the past the lessons we need to know to put the future into context and live in confidence, rather than fear and ignorance.Will Durant's work is marked by his own special quality as a writer -- he is tough-minded, optimistic, courageous, and convinced that without a knowledge of the past there is no wisdom to guide us to the future. Heroes of History was his last word on the subject, and much of it has been aimed directly at the doubts and fears of people today. It is a major, and unexpected, literary and historical event.This book is also available on audio tape and CD format, read by Will and Ariel Durant. If you would like more information on this and other products featuring Will Durant's life-enhancing philosophy, we encourage you to visit the web site at www.willdurant.com.

American historian and essayist Will Durant was born in North Adams, Massachusetts. He earned his undergraduate degree at St. Peter's College in New Jersey and went on to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1917 from Columbia University. While teaching at the libertarian Ferrer Modern School in New York, he had as a pupil a young woman named Ada Kaufman, whom he later called Ariel. She became his wife---and his coauthor. In 1917 Durant published his first work, his doctoral dissertation, Philosophy and the Social Problem . In 1926 he published another work, The Story of Philosophy. The following year, he began writing the comprehensive history of civilization on which he was to spend much of the next 30 years of his life, the massive Story of Civilization. By the time the seventh volume was published in 1961, Ariel Durant's diligent assistance on the project had earned her title-page recognition as coauthor. The Durants made several world tours to visit the countries they treated in their history and received countless honorary degrees. In 1968 they received the Pulitzer Prize for Rousseau and Revolution, the tenth and final volume of their story. Explaining why they stopped at this point in history, they wrote: "We find ourselves exhausted on reaching the French Revolution. We know that this event did not end history, but it ends us." The Durants brought popular history to the intelligent lay reader, a fact that Orville Prescott noted:"To introduce and to popularize is not less worthy an enterprise than to unearth some hitherto unknown facts or to present some new and controversial theory. Many professional historians believe that it is, and some have looked down their noses at the Durants. The truth is that the art of history includes both kinds of writing and needs both. The scholar who delves into obscure archives is essential; without him ignorance would prevail. But the writer who can make history available to the general reader is necessary too."

Table of What is Civilization?
Confucius and the Banished Angel
India: From Buddha to Indira Gandhi
From the Pyramids to Ikhnaton
Philosophy and Poetry in the Old Testament
The Road to Pericles
The Golden Age of Athens
From Plato to Alexander
The Roman Republic
The Roman Revolution
The Roman Empire
Nero and Aurelius
The Human Christ
The Growth of the Church
The Renaissance I: Around Leonardo
The Renaissance II: Rome
The Renaissance III: Venetian Sunset
The Reformation I: Wyclif and Erasmus
The Reformation II (1517�55): Luther and the Communists
The Catholic Reformation (1517�63)
Shakespeare and Bacon

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