Quotations by Durant, William James


Most of us spend too much time on the last twenty-four hours and too little on the last six thousand years.

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Inquiry is fatal to certainty.

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
(Attributed)
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Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos.

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
(Attributed)
Added on 13-Mar-17 | Last updated 13-Mar-17
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Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks for the river.

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
Life (18 Oct. 1963)
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When people ask me to compare the 20th century to older civilizations, I always say the same thing: “The situation is normal.”

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
New York Times (7 May 1968)

On winning the Pullitzer Prize
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One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
NY World-Telegram & Sun (6 Jun 1958)
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The soul of a civilization is its religion, and it dies with its faith.

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
The Age of Reason Begins (1961)

(with Ariel Durant)
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Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again.

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
The Lessons of History (1968)
Added on 10-Apr-17 | Last updated 10-Apr-17
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The conservative who resists change is as valuable as the radical who proposes it.

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
The Lessons of History, ch. 5, “Character & History” (1968)
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A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
The Story of Civilization, Vol. 3: Caesar and Christ (1944)
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In my youth I stressed freedom, and in my old age I stress order. I have made the great discovery that liberty is a product of order.

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
Time (13 Aug. 1965)
Added on 15-Feb-04 | Last updated 15-Feb-04
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The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds.

William James (Will) Durant (1885-1981) American historian, teacher, philosopher
Recalled on his death (7 Nov. 1981)

http://www.bartleby.com/63/83/4983.html
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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