A Discussion of The Story of Civilization

We are great lovers of dogs, all breeds. Dogs distinguish themselves from humans after a couple of years of life. Dogs can’t talk or teach their young about their ancestors. Language distinguishes human beings from the animal world. Accordingly, history is mostly about people. Interpretations of all historical events essentially weave together successions of events and successive generations of people.

It is a fundamental truth that there is much more consensus among warring domestic political factions about the facts associated with ancient history and more distant history. Such is not the case with current events. You will find that Democrats and Republicans often find much less to argue about when discussing Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great, than they do discussing the relative merits of say Franklin Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan.

Will and Ariel Durant’s eleven volumes of, The Story of Civilization, cover a large portion of human history. We prefer to use the Durant's work as a primary reference for distant history.

Is there a distinct dividing line where partisan disputes fade away and consensus prevails? Not really. While Abraham Lincoln is generally regarded by both parties as a great leader, there is much in dispute in modern day political discourse, even regarding the Founding Fathers of 18th Century America.

Since this site offers commentary on both domestic and international history, we feel the need to stipulate on the authenticity of historical observations for a large portion of the past, lest we argue all day and then all night. We want to limit the arguing to all day.

The best and most complete collection of historical observations through the early 19th Century are contained in the eleven volumes of, The Story of Civilization. We believe the Durant's body of work is second to none. Therefore, we will stipulate to the basic truth of their findings prior to the last two hundred years. We also rely on a number of other independent historical sources, including some of the Durant’s subsequent writings.
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