Will and Ariel Durant

Will and Ariel

American Writers, Historians and Philosophers, awarded Pulitzer Prize and best known for "The Story of Civilization" Will Durant (1885-1981) and Ariel Durant, born Chaya Kaufman (1898-1981)

Author Quotes

A proletarian dictatorship is never proletarian.

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.

These volumes may help some of our children to understand and enjoy the infinite riches of their inheritance.

As we acquire more knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious. (or Albert Schweitzer)

In progressive societies the concentration may reach a point where the strength of number in the many poor rivals the strength of ability in the few rich; then the unstable equilibrium generates a critical situation, which history has diversely met by legislation redistributing wealth or by revolution distributing poverty.

To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy.

Civilization begins where chaos and insecurity ends.

Most history is guessing, and the rest is prejudice.

When liberty destroys order, the hunger for order will destroy liberty.

Civilization begins with order, grows with liberty, and dies with chaos.

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

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.

Normally and generally men are judged by their ability to produce—except in war, when they are ranked according to their ability to destroy.

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

One of the lessons of history is that 'nothing' is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.

Education is the transmission of civilization.

Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance.

Forced to choose, the poor, like the rich, love money more than political liberty; and the only political freedom capable of enduring is one that is so pruned as to keep the rich from denuding the poor by ability or subtlety and the poor from robbing the rich by violence or votes.

Since practical ability differs from person to person, the majority of such abilities, in nearly all societies, is gathered in a minority of men. The concentration of wealth is a natural result of this concentration of ability, and regularly recurs in history. The rate of concentration varies (other factors being equal) with the economic freedom permitted by morals and the laws. Despotism m ay for a time retard the concentration; democracy, allowing the most liberty, accelerates it.

Forget mistakes. Forget failure. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day.

The family is the nucleus of civilization.

Four elements constitute Civilization -- economic provision, political organization, moral traditions, and the pursuit of knowledge and the arts.

The fear of capitalism compelled socialism to widen freedom, and the fear of socialism has compelled capitalism to increase equality.

From the Medici of Florence and the Fuggers of Augsburg to the Rothschilds of Paris and London and the Morgans of New York, bankers have sat in the councils of governments, financing wars and popes, and occasionally sparking a revolution….

The men who can manage men, manage the men who manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all.

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Will and Ariel
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American Writers, Historians and Philosophers, awarded Pulitzer Prize and best known for "The Story of Civilization" Will Durant (1885-1981) and Ariel Durant, born Chaya Kaufman (1898-1981)