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By Will Durant

A smart and witty compendium of the best suggestions, maximum minds, and maximum books of all time -- indexed in available and succinct shape -- through one of many world's maximum students.
From the "Hundred top Books" to the "Ten maximum Thinkers" to the "Ten maximum Poets," here's a concise selection of the world's most vital wisdom. For the higher a part of a century, Will Durant dwelled upon -- and wrote approximately -- the main major eras, members, and achievements of human heritage. His choices have eventually been introduced jointly in one, compact quantity. Durant eloquently defends his offerings of the best minds and concepts, yet he additionally stimulates readers into forming their very own evaluations, encouraging them to shed their atmosphere and biases and input "The nation of the Mind," a undying realm the place the heroes of our species stay.
From a philosopher who constantly selected to exalt the optimistic within the human species, The maximum Minds and ideas of All Time remains real to Durant's optimism. this can be a booklet containing the best possible of our historical past, handed on for the good thing about destiny generations. packed with Durant's popular wit, wisdom, and distinct skill to provide an explanation for occasions and ideas in uncomplicated and intriguing phrases, it is a pocket-size liberal arts and humanist curriculum in a single quantity.

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For if the reply was once “No,” barbarism persisted; if it was once “Yes,” civilization planted one other root within the reminiscence of guy: the substitute of chaos with order, of brutality with judgment, of violence with legislation. right here, too, is a present unfelt, simply because we're born in the charmed circle of its safety, and not understand its worth until eventually we wander into the disordered or solitary areas of the earth. God is aware that our congresses and our parliaments are doubtful innovations, the distilled mediocrity of the land, yet regardless of them we be able to take pleasure in a safety of lifestyles and estate which we will enjoy extra warmly while civil conflict or revolution reduces us to primitive stipulations. examine the security of shuttle at the present time with the robber-infested highways of medieval Europe. by no means earlier than in historical past was once there such order and liberty as exist in England at the present time, and should sometime exist in the United States, while a fashion is located of establishing municipal place of work to able and honorable males. even though, we must never excite ourselves an excessive amount of approximately political corruption or democratic mismanagement: politics isn't really lifestyles, yet just a graft upon lifestyles; less than its vulgar melodrama the conventional order of society quietly persists, within the relations, within the institution, within the thousand devious affects that vary our local lawlessness into a few degree of cooperation and goodwill. with no cognizance of it, we partake in a sumptuous patrimony of social order outfitted up for us by means of 100 generations of trial and mistake, gathered wisdom, and transmitted wealth. 6. MORALITY right here we contact the very center of our problem—are males morally higher than they have been? as far as intelligence is part in morals, we have now enhanced: the typical of intelligence is larger, and there was an exceptional elevate within the variety of what we could vaguely name “developed” minds. as far as personality is worried, now we have most likely retrogressed: subtlety of proposal has grown on the price of balance of soul; within the presence of our fathers we intellectuals suppose uncomfortably that although we surpass them within the variety of rules that we have got crowded into our heads, and although now we have liberated ourselves from pleasant superstitions which nonetheless convey them relief and luxury, we're not so good as them in uncomplaining braveness, constancy to our initiatives and reasons, and easy power of character. but when morality implies the virtues exalted within the code of Christ, now we have made a few halting development regardless of our mines and slums, our democratic corruption, and our city habit to lechery. we're a marginally gentler species than we have been: in a position to better kindness, and of generosity even to alien or lately opposed peoples whom now we have by no means visible. in a single 12 months (1928) the contributions of our state to non-public charity and philanthropy surpassed billion dollars—which was once then one 1/2 the entire cash circulating in the US. We nonetheless kill murderers if, as sometimes occurs, we capture them and convict them, yet we're a bit uneasy approximately this historic retributive justice of “a existence for a life,” and the variety of crimes for which we mete out the last word punishment has quickly reduced.

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