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Description de l’éditeur
Praised as a “revelatory” book by The Wall Street Journal, this is the last and most personal work of Pulitzer Prize–winning author and historian Will Durant, discovered thirty-two years after his death.
The culmination of Will Durant’s sixty-plus years spent researching the philosophies, religions, arts, sciences, and civilizations from across the world, Fallen Leaves is the distilled wisdom of one of the world’s greatest minds, a man with a renowned talent for rendering the insights of the past accessible. Over the course of Durant’s career he received numerous letters from “curious readers who have challenged me to speak my mind on the timeless questions of human life and fate.” With Fallen Leaves, his final book, he at last accepted their challenge.
In twenty-two short chapters, Durant addresses everything from youth and old age to religion, morals, sex, war, politics, and art. Fallen Leaves is “a thought-provoking array of opinions” (Publishers Weekly), offering elegant prose, deep insights, and Durant’s revealing conclusions about the perennial problems and greatest joys we face as a species. In Durant’s singular voice, here is a message of insight for everyone who has ever sought meaning in life or the counsel of a learned friend while navigating life’s journey.
Pulitzer Prize winning historian Durant, who died in 1981, had long hinted that he was writing a summation of his thoughts on... well, just about everything. This long-awaited release is a collection of essays on religion, race, politics, art, and science, providing a slim but apt companion piece to The Story of Civilization, the acclaimed 11-volume series Durant coauthored with his wife, Ariel. Some passages, such as his observations on youth and middle age, are personal and specific, while others, such as his ruminations on the existence of God, border on philosophy. Some of Durant's views are impossibly antiquated today particularly his observation that women are "seldom capable of lasting friendships" and should receive instruction in the domestic arts, as "good pies do more for monogamy than all the languages." Others, though, still carry a beneficial sting, such as his thoughts on war and nationalism and his plea for racial harmony (Durant's civil rights advocacy dated back to 1914). If readers can forgive his more dated beliefs, they'll find a thought-provoking array of opinions.