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The Story of Civilization

(The Story of Civilization #1-11)

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,369 ratings  ·  139 reviews
The 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 11 volume set includes: Vo1 : Our Oriental Heritage; Vol 2: The Life of Greece; Vol.3: Caesar and Christ; Vol 4: The Age of Faith; Vol 5: The Renaissance; Vol 6: The Reformation; Vol 7: The Age of Reason Begins; Vol ...more
Paperback, 14777 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by MJF Books (first published 1975)
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4.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,369 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I read all 11 volumes of this series when I was housebound with 3 kids (2 of whom were infants). These books saved my sanity and kept my brain from turning to mush.
Tea Jovanović
Sjajna edicija za ljubitelje istorije... Dosta rada je uloženo u objavljivanje ove knjige u više tomova... mnogo znoja i neprospavanih noći (uglavnom u letnjim mesecima)... Bila sam saradnik na prevodu, raščivijavala transkripcije, radila indeks, i prelome nekoliko tomova... A onda mi se smučilo da okapavam svako leto pa sam se kod petog toma skinula s projekta... :)
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Story of Civilization (11 Volume Set), Will Durant
The Story of Civilization, by husband and wife Will and Ariel Durant, is an eleven-volume set.
I. Our Oriental Heritage (1935), II. The Life of Greece (1939), III. Caesar and Christ (1944), IV. The Age of Faith (1950), V. The Renaissance (1953), VI. The Reformation (1957), VII. The Age of Reason Begins (1961), VIII. The Age of Louis XIV (1963), IX. The Age of Voltaire (1965), X. Rousseau and Revolution (1967), XI. The Age of Napoleon (1975).
Erik Graff
Mar 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone & everyone
Recommended to Erik by: an advertisement in the Nation or some other magazine
Shelves: history
Will and Ariel Durant, like Abelard and Heloise, were teacher and student, were punished and went on to write together. Unlike their mediaeval prototypes, however, they wed and appear to have been rather happy. They certainly were productive.

Will started the series, the two of them carried it through to "the age of Napolean". Together, they travelled a great deal, visiting many of the places they wrote about in this magisterial eleven volume (twelve if you count a companion volume on historiogra
Timothy Finnegan
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If I had a choice of just 11 books to take into isolation for the rest of my reading days I would take The Story of Civilization by Will and Ariel Durant. Durant began his life as a seminarian. He became a teacher and starting writing, becoming a very successful author penning The Story of Philosophy. (Yes!) At some point he immersed himself in the history of the world, namely, the history of the European west and the study of western civilization. Imagine that, spending your adult life learning ...more
Marie Palmer
I will be reading a hundred pages per month of this series for almost ten years. I will review it more thoroughly in the year 2020. So far, I feel like I am finally getting history to some extent, and all I have read is half of the first book. So far he has covered Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Persia, and Jerusalem. Now we are hitting India. I love it, really.
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
d- EVERYONE should read this series sometime in their lifetime -- of course it'll likely take you most of a lifetime to actually read the whole thing (it's like 12 volumes of 1,500 pages each). i have it on audio and i've listened up until volume 8 or 9 i think. (I need to get back to it.) it took will durant almost 30 years to write it, and i think the final volume was published back in the 30's. but it is amazing. it was written way back in the first half of the 20th century (although i think ...more
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shortly after I retired in 2004, I began reading this incredible historical journey written as a life-long project by the wonderful couple of Will and Ariel Durant. (It is the kind of reading that probably can only be done in retirement, as the total pages exceeds 11,000!)

But it was an adventure well worth it. Like Page Smith, the Durants are primary historians, meaning that they have read an amazing number of works ranging from economics, to politics, to culture, to theology, and so on. AND the
من فقط جلد مربوط به یونان و قرون وسطا رو خوندم.

بخش قرون وسطاش جالب بود. جزئیات دادگاه های تفتیش عقاید و شکنجه ها و مخالفت های بعضی از فرقه های مذهبی (فکر کنم فرانسیسکن ها) با این دادگاه ها و اصلاً علت تشکیل این دادگاه ها به خاطر نهضت های بی دینی و طغیان های مردم شهرهای مختلف، و این که اعترافی که متهم، تحت شکنجه می کرد ولی بعداً از اعترافش بر می گشت، معتبر نبود و باید دوباره شکنجه می شد و دوباره اعتراف می کرد و آن قدر این چرخه ادامه می یافت که اعتراف تحت شکنجه اش با اعتراف بعد از شکنجه هماهنگ باش
Khalid Almoghrabi
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
THE most brilliant book on earth, by far. Durant is a philosopher who can collectively bring parts into a whole and in a short sentence teaches you a lifetime. Highly recommended
Kareem Adel
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
اقرا فى الطبعة العربية

من اصدار الهيئة العامة للكتاب

اعتقد انى سأقرأ هذا الموسوعة الكبيرة دوما
لأستلهم منها كيف يمكننا بناء نهضة و حضارة مصرية حديثة

الموسوعة كبيرة جدا .. لكنى احاول ان اقرا فيها قدر استطاعتى ..

بدأت قرائتها من المجلد 20 الخاص بعصر النهضة و اصلاح الفكر الدينى فى اوروبا
Dan Scott
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Where do I begin? These books were the foundation of my intellectual journey. Durant was my greatest teacher.
David Glad
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: civilization, history
Every time I think of this collection, I am delightfully jealous at how the Durants could devote 45+ years to writing such an incredible undertaking.

Although I found Volume I (Our Oriental Heritage) and II (The Life of Greece)somewhat distant as might be expected, they did start to engage more as time passed. Could also be that Durant too improved over time. My personal favorite was naturally The Age of Voltaire where it talked about market speculations, economic bubbles, and topics that would a
ما می توانیم بر نویسنده ای که توانست ظرف پانزده ماه هلوِییز جدید (فوریۀ 1761)،قرارداد اجتماعی(آوریل 1762)، وامیل(مه 1762)را ارایه کند خطاهای بسیاری را ببخشیم. در امیل؛ روسو کار خود را با مردود دانستن شیوه های موجود تعلیم آغاز کرد، که این شیوه ها معمولاً بصورت افکار طوطی وار ،کهنه ، و فاسد بودند و هدف آنها عبارت بود از بار آوردن اطفالی مطیع و خود کار در یک اجتماع منحط، جلوگیری از استقلال تفکر و قضاوت طفل،و مسخ فکری او به طوری که بصورت یک فرد عادی با یک مشت گفته های پیش پا افتاده و تکرار های کلاسی ...more
Sep 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Many people have this 11-volume set in their homes. It stands there on the shelf, prominently displayed, as evidence of the great erudition of the owner. My set is not particularly attractive on the shelf -- I bought the volumes from a used book store, and they look used. I might add that this is not the sort of book I normally read -- most of my readings are in the area of modern science, philosophy and some in religion.

Yet quite literally I have read every word of every volume of this set. I
ضيف فهد
Mar 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
هذا الاختصار يفقد الموسوعة الأصلية اهم ما يميزها أي : القصة نفسها ..
تلك الأجزاء و المفردات و التفاصيل الكثيرة التي تنطوي عليها الموسوعة الكاملة تحذف هنا و يصبح الكتاب معها مجرد سرد لأحداث بدون تشويق التفاصيل .. تقضي على المتعة الحق أقول لكم . امتلك الموسوعة .. و أنا أعتبرها كنز قرائي لا يفنى .. قمت منذ فترة بعمل خطة قرائية لإنجاز القراءة لكامل الموسوعة .. و كانت كالتالي : 100 صفحة في اليوم .. ما يعني 10 أيام تقريبا لكل مجلد .. إذ أن كل مجلد ( النسخة التي لدي يحتوي كل مجلد منها على جزئين ) يحتوي
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Stupendous and wide-reaching, this was a labour of love that spanned decades. Hard to imagine today's writers pulling this off. The good news is that it's wonderfully written and enchanting to read. The better news? It's plentiful enough to be found cheap second-hand if you take the time to look for it.
Anthony Barbieri
Nov 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A page turner. A must read if you want to understand civilization and how it evolved. Times have not changed.
Yazeed T.
Sep 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Durant is an excellent historian, and although much of what the books contained is now defunct, the majority is written very comprehensively, steering clear of controversy and unknowns in a manner of detached and objective scholarship (at least for the time period). The authors embark on every civilization/time-period, first discussing the geographical, economic, socio-political and religious backgrounds and then start a narrative of events in chronological order. The choice of what qualifies as ...more
James Foley
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any history lover
Recommended to James by: Life magazine, Barned & Noble
Shelves: history
This is more than just a book, it enriches your life permanently. It also leaves you with a nice generally useful set of history books. This uniquely complete volume tells you all that most of us will ever need to know about Western Civilization and history until the fall of Napoleon. It's clearly written(Thank God!),reasonably broad, bluntly and openly opinionated in many areas. It includes a very useful sketch of the progress of the west and detailed and interesting sketches of some of the mos ...more
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
sloooooowly working my way thru audios, now avail via Overdrive and Hoopla!! not all avail on each but between them ought to *eventually* have access. Enjoy using history or philo, especially older, as pre-sleep treat, find it soothing, relaxing.

My Review:

[will post link to review of individual book here... " "]

currently beginning Volume III: CAESAR AND CHRIST.
Feb 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Even at 11 volumes, it is an overview of Western civilizaton. A reletivly easy read. given the complexity of the subject. The set takes a change of tone at volume VII. (Mr Durant has died and his wife finised the set from his notes.) The material is still quite excellent but she doesn't have the same confidence with it that he did.
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
انت قبلها ليس كأنت بعدها
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Actually, I haven't read the entire 11 volume set, but have read (on and off) most of the volume about the History of France under the reign of the Sun King, "Louis XIV" (Volume IV). I am listening on Audible as the time I have to sit still everyday was just used up by writing this brief comment!

The narration is excellent (a must for me!) and I find the in-depth history fascinating! I have read so many books, both biographies and historical fiction, about so many eras, and I always find certain
Jun 26, 2016 marked it as to-read
* 5 books that inspired billionaire CEO Elizabeth Holmes

From 1935 to 1975, author Will Durant wrote 11 volumes on Western history, finishing with the Napoleonic era only because he and his wife died weeks apart. His wife, Ariel, is a coauthor of several of the final volumes, and they both won the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction for the 10th in the series, "Rousseau and Revolution."

"I've really been fascinated and inspired by reading books about history, because there's so much wisdom in under
Bill Olsen
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I have finished vol. 4, (Age of Faith -about the medieval times from the fall of Rome to the beginning of the enlightenment). A great book about the "dark ages" in which you find out that they are not as dark as many thought. The philosophers, the faith, the conflicts of that time. There is a very enlightening section of the Muslim world and their history of that time. I learned a lot especially about the crusades and about the misguided cruelty of many who called themselves "Christians" and "Cr ...more
Ronny Guerra
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Started reading "Our Oriental Heritage." I am very interested in Durant's section on how civilization evolved. Making connections to present day in how the same problems and pitfalls that brought down empires and states are bringing down the world economy. Cliche here, history repeats itself. Man has stepped away from the communal and towards the individual and that's when the shit hit the fan. It's unreal how my mind is making references. Read over a 100 pages with delight. The study of history ...more
Oct 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Though written in the early and middle of the 20th century, and thus somewhat dated on matters whose understanding has since been heavily revised by archaeological, paleontological, genetic, and documentary discoveries, this set remains the definitive baseline history of civilization.

At 11 volumes, each totalling in the neighborhood of a thousand pages, it's an intimidating read, but Durant's style is thorough and personable, telling the grand story in detail while communicating methodology wel
Glen Weissenberger
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am outraged that when I went to pull this magnificent, one-of-a-kind 11 volume set of books up in the search bar, the author was listed as Will Durant, when the entirety of this opus was written by both Will Durant and his wife Ariel Durant!

"The Story of Civilization," written over thirty years (1935-1975) and composing 11 volumes, chronicles, truly, our entire course of human civilization, for which they were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1968 and the Presidential Meda
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful detailed comprehensive history of Western Civilization. I read through all 11 volumes during about a 3 year period, and have since revisited 3 volumes (Caesar and Christ, The Age of Enlightenment, The Age of Voltaire). Durant writes in a way that is compelling even in mundane periods of the past, and is quite adept at summarizing complex situations with the turning of a thoughtful witty phrase.
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Philosophy of History / History and Philosophy 1 9 May 19, 2015 12:05AM  
history and philosophy 2 37 Mar 25, 2014 09:13PM  
  • The Outline of History, Vol. 1 (of 2)
  • The Seekers: The Story of Man's Continuing Quest to Understand His World
  • The Mainspring of Human Progress
  • Great Books of the Western World
  • A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6
  • The Decline of the West, Vol 2: Perspectives of World History
  • The Great Books: A Journey through 2,500 Years of the West's Classic Literature
  • The Greek Way
  • The Death of Character: Moral Education in an Age Without Good or Evil
  • Civilization and Capitalism 15th-18th Century, Vol. 3: The Perspective of the World
  • God, Philosophy, Universities: A Selective History of the Catholic Philosophical Tradition
  • Speeches That Changed the World: The Stories and Transcripts of the Moments That Made History
  • Essays: Moral, Political and Literary
  • Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography
  • Roots Of American Order
  • Castles
  • Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres
  • A History of Islamic Societies
William James Durant was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for the 11-volume The Story of Civilization, written in collaboration with his wife Ariel and published between 1935 and 1975. He was earlier noted for his book, The Story of Philosophy, written in 1926, which was considered "a groundbreaking work that helped to popularize philosophy."

They were awarde

Other books in the series

The Story of Civilization (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization, #1)
  • The Life of Greece (The Story of Civilization, #2)
  • Caesar and Christ (Story of Civilization, #3)
  • The Age of Faith (The Story of Civilization, #4)
  • The Renaissance (The Story of Civilization, #5)
  • The Reformation (The Story of Civilization #6)
  • The Age of Reason Begins (The Story of Civilization, #7)
  • The Age of Louis XIV (The Story of Civilization, #8)
  • The Age of Voltaire (The Story of Civilization, #9)
  • Rousseau and Revolution (The Story of Civilization, #10)
“In the end, nothing is lost. Every event, for good or evil, has effects forever.” 27 likes
“History is mostly guessing, the rest is prejudice.” 15 likes
More quotes…