Fallen Leaves by Will Durant | Book Review

Distillation of wisdom in elegant prose!

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Looking at many aspects of our lives through Will Durant’s philosophical lens was indeed a delight! It consists of small essays on various topics that interested Durant, and us all, throughout his life, youth, middle age, old age, death, religion, morality, etc.

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.

“An effective approach to the problem of war will proceed, not by large and generous emotions, but by the specific study and patient adjustment of specific causes and disputes. Peace must be planned and organized as realistically as war–with provision for every factor, and prevision for every detail. This cannot be done in an occasional moment stolen by statesmen from internal affairs; it requires the full-time attention of first-rate minds”

It’s pretty intriguing that Durant so respected Jesus and his teaching and that as he pondered the work of his life, he reflects,

“If I could live another life, endowed with my present mind and mood, I would not write history or philosophy, but would devote myself to establishing an association of men and women free to have any tolerant theology or no theology at all, but pledged to follow as far as possible the ethics of Christ, including chastity before marriage, fidelity within it, extensive charity, and peaceful opposition to any but the most clearly defensible war”