Rousseau and Revolution

      Will Durant
Rousseau and Revolution

The Story of Civilization, with its tenth volume, Rousseau and Revolution. Around the towering and perplexing personality of Rousseau who set spinning the whirlpool of ideology, both Left and Right, the authors recreate in vivid narrative style the growth of eighteenth century intellectual, moral and political dissent, the summit and decline of autocratic rule, religious disenchantment and democratic stirrings, ""the role of genius in history, of man versus the mass and the state""--in short, that great and continuing debate of which we are now the troubled heirs. The gallery swells with figures as important as the star performer himself: Goethe, Johnson, Voltaire, Catherine and Frederick, Mozart, Kant, Reynolds. The military exploits, the elegance and corruption of court life, the diversity of cultural, economic, and social events, the prejudices and mores of the entire European scene--surely it is a measure of the Durants' comprehensive mastery that so vast a panorama has been handled with so many splendidly interwoven episodes, judicious portraits, and contemporary ramifications.
From: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re...


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    The Age of Faith

      Will Durant
The Age of Faith

The Age of Faith surveys the medieval achievements and modern significance of Christian, Islamic, and Judaic life and culture. Like the other volumes in The Story of Civilization, this is a self-contained work, which at the same time fits into a comprehensive history of mankind. It includes the dramatic stories of St. Augustine, Hypatia, Justinian, Mohammed, Harun al-Rashid, Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lion-Hearted, Saladin, Maimonides, St. Francis, St. Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon, and many others, all in the perspective of integrated history. The greatest love stories in literature—of Héloise and Abélard, of Dante and Beatrice—are here retold with enthralling scholarship.


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    The Life of Greece

      Will Durant
The Life of Greece

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. The Life of Greece is a survey of ancient Greece whose scope and style recalls the golden age of historical writing, before specialization. Durant, in this second volume of The Story of Civilization, tells the whole story of Hellas, from the days of Crete's vast Aegean empire to the extirpation of the last remnants of Greek liberty, crushed under the heel of an implacably forward-marching Rome. The dry minutiae of battles and sieges, tortuous statecraft of tyrant and king, are given less emphasis in what is pre-eminently a vivid recreation of Greek culture, written in a supple and vigorous prose.
[from cover]


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    The Age of Louis XIV

      Will Durant
The Age of Louis XIV

In the eighth volume of their Story of Civilization, the Durants explore the apex of European civilization to that time, the years 1648 to 1715. It is the era of the "Sun King," Louis XIV, one of the most powerful rulers in Western history. It is also the pinnacle of Dutch culture, the heyday of Vermeer and William of Orange, later King of England. All this forms the backdrop for the Durants' real focus: the intellectual character of the age. Encompassing Newton and Leibniz, among others, THE AGE OF LOUIS XIV marks a momentous transition: the passage from superstition and intolerance to science and philosophy. This is the period on which the foundation for modernity rests.

"Informed and highly readable ... eloquently partisan for the dignity of man and the decencies of life." (Saturday Review)


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    The Age of Voltaire

      Will Durant
The Age of Voltaire

The Age of Voltaire (Volume 9): A biography of a great man and the period he embodied. We witness Voltaire's satiric work in the salons and the theater as well as his banishment to England. With him we view the complex relationships between nobility, clergy, bourgeoisie and peasantry in the France of Louis XV. We explore the music of Bach and the struggle between Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa of Austria. And finally we hear an imaginary discussion between Voltaire and Pope Benedict XIV on the significance and value of religion.


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    The Story of Civilization

      Will Durant
The Story of Civilization

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 8: The Age of Louis XIV; Vol 9:The Age of Voltaire; Vol. 10: Rousseau and Revolution; Vol 11: The Age of Napoleon


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    The Age of Napoleon

      Will Durant
The Age of Napoleon

The Age of Napoleon surveys the amazing chain of events that wrenched Europe out of the Enlightenment and into the Age of Democracy:
The French Revolution---from the storming of the Bastille to the guillotining of the King
The revolution's leaders Danton, Desmoulins, Robespierre, Saint-Just---all cut down by the reign of terror they inaugurated.
Napoleon's meteoric rise---from the provincial Corsican military student to the Emperor commanding the largest army in history
Napoleon's fall---his army's destruction in the snows of Russia, his exile to Elba, escape and reconquest of the throne, and ultimate defeat at Waterloo by the combined forces of Europe.
* The birth of romanticism and the dawning of a new age of active democracy and a rising middle class, laying the foundation for our own era.


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    Our Oriental Heritage

      Will Durant
Our Oriental Heritage

This is the classic reference on world history, recognized as the most comprehensive general history ever written, the result of four decades of work by Will and Ariel Durant -- a set that The New York Times called "a splendid, broad panorama of hereditary culture in words and images that the layman can fully understand." This series began as an effort to write a history on the nineteenth century, an undertaking that Will Durant realized could only be understood in terms of what had come before. So the Durants embarked on an encyclopedic survey of all civilization, ancient and modern, Occidental and Oriental.

The books:

Our Oriental Heritage (Volume 1): Will Durant opens his massive survey of civilized history with a sweeping look at the Orient: the Egyptians, who perfected monumental architecture, medicine and mummification; the Babylonians, who developed astronomy and physics; the Judeans, who preserved their culture in the immortal books of the Old Testament; and the Persians, who ruled the largest empire in recorded history before Rome.

The Life of Greece (Volume 2): Will Durant's survey of ancient Greece shows us the origins of democracy and the political legacy to the Western world; the golden age of Athens, its architecture, poetry, drama, sculpture and Olympic contests; the blossoming of philosophical thought amid a society still rooted in slavery and barbarism; and the mysterious lost island of Crete, land of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth.

Caesar and Christ (Volume 3): Spanning a millenium in Roman history, the third volume in the Durants' series shows us a world-conquering Roman army, undefeated, unafraid and...vegeterian; Hannibal, who transported an army of elephants over the Alps to invade Rome; Julius Caesar, who brought Western Europe under Roman rule; the life and Passion of Christ; and the struggle of the rising church.

The Age of Faith (Volume 4): Over 1,000 years, we meet the Christian ascetics and martyrs, including Simeon Stylites, who sat atop a pillar for 30 years, exposed to rain, sun, and snow, and rejoiced as worms ate his rotting flesh; the saints, including Augustine, the most influential philosopher of his age; Mohammed, the desert merchant who founded a religion that conquered one-third of the known world in two centuries; and the Italian poet Dante, whose sensibility marks the transition to the Renaissance.

The Renaissance (Volume 5): In this volume, Will Durant examines the economic seeds -- the growth of industry, the rise of banking families, the conflicts of labor and capital -- for Italy's emergence as the first nation to feel the awakening of the modern mind. He follows the cultural flowering from Florence to Milan to Verona and eventually to Rome, allowing us to witness a colorful pageant of princes, queens, poets, painters, sculptors and architects. We see humanity moved boldly from a finite world to an infinite one.

The Reformation (Volume 6): In Europe's tumultuous emergence from the Middle Ages, we encounter two rival popes fighting for control of a corrupt, cynical church; the Hundred Years' War and 13-year-old warrior Joan of Arc; Christopher Columbus' accidental discovery of the New World; and Martin Luther, who defied the pope and ultimately led Northern Europe into the age of individualism.

The Age of Reason Begins (Volume 7): In one of Europe's most turbulent centuries, Philip II of Spain sees his "invincible" armada suffer defeat at the hands of England; Elizabeth I of England receives assistance from explorer Walter Raleigh and pirate Francis Drake; and new appeals for reason and science are exemplified in the ideas of Copernicus, Galileo and Descartes.

The Age of Louis XIV (Volume 8): This installment is the biography of a period some consider the apex of modern European civilization. "Some centuries hence," Frederick the Great predicted to Voltaire, "they will translate the good authors of the time of Louis XIV as we translate those of the age of Pericles or Augustus." Those authors are lovingly treated here: Pascal and Fenelon, Racine and Boileau, Mme. de Sevigne and Mme. de La Fayette, and, above all, the philosopher-dramatist Moliere, exposing the vices and hypocrisies of the age.

The Age of Voltaire (Volume 9): A biography of a great man and the period he embodied. We witness Voltaire's satiric work in the salons and the theater as well as his banishment to England. With him we view the complex relationships between nobility, clergy, bourgeoisie and peasantry in the France of Louis XV. We explore the music of Bach and the struggle between Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa of Austria. And finally we hear an imaginary discussion between Voltaire and Pope Benedict XIV on the significance and value of religion.

Rousseau and Revolution (Volume 10): This volume ranges over a Europe in ferment, but centers on the passionate rebel-philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who contended with Voltaire for the mind of Europe. Rousseau condemned civilization as a disease, glorified the noble savage, proclaimed to the world with equal intensity his own love affairs and the natural rights of man, and became the patron saint of the French Revolution and social upheavals across the globe for two centuries.

The Age of Napoleon (Volume 11): The final volume. Napoleon is the archetypical hero, whose restless, ambitious, and intelligent mind dominated his age and has never ceased to fascinate the world he helped fashion. Yet even Bonaparte is dwarfed by the age that took his name. For, the Durants have re-created the life, the history, the arts, the science, the politics, the philosophy, the manners and the morality, the very spirit of the turbulent epoch that began with the French Revolution, ended with the fall of the emperor and ushered in the modern world.


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