Enrich your life with the excitement of powerful ideas and the power of history

Will Durant (1885-1981) was one of the most popular educators of the past century. His book sales number in the tens of millions, his prose has inspired everyone from prisoners to Presidents, and his opinions have been discussed by an equally wide range of individuals – from young students to Mahatma Gandhi. The remarkably successful A Visit With Will & Ariel Durant introduced Will Durant and his extraordinary insights into human life, nature and ability to a new generation via the magic of video. Now his vision of history as the greatest educator continues, as Durant brings to light the lessons and observations he made on the most compelling areas of human existence. Drawing upon rare Durant archive video and audio materials (many never released before), PERSPECTIVISM: THE PHILOSOPHY OF WILL DURANT is an invitation to visit with Dr. Durant again and to join him as he sheds Perspective on these fascinating topics:

• The Value of History
• Biology
• Conflict
• Environmental Influence
• The Constituents of Man
• The Basic Lesson of History
• Civilization
• Morals
• Religion
• God
• The Second Lesson of History
• Government
• Community
• Race
• Character
• Growth
• Decay
• Progress
• Perspective

Total Running Time: 51:37

Perspectivism: The Philosophy Of Will Durant showcases Will Durant speaking not to philosophers and historians, but to everyday men and women who likewise share his wonder and joy in being alive to the full measure of their human potential. In viewing this film, one will learn the art of living and of embracing reality, dislodging the false alternatives of pessimism and optimism and becoming more comfortable with life as it truly is.

In addition to revealing a better vantage point from which to view the more meaningful things in life, Perspectivism: The Philosophy Of Will Durant also offers viewers the perspective of a man who had studied long and hard these vital areas of human experience. To be sure, Durant is no Pangloss; his work is marked by his own special quality as a thinker ? he is tough-minded, courageous, and convinced that without a knowledge of the past there is no wisdom to guide us to the future. His optimistic insights are extremely valuable and hard-earned, growing out of his over half century of studying the nature of man through the annals of history. For, as Durant once pointed out:

Other studies may tell us how man might behave, or how he should behave; history tells us how he has behaved for six thousand years. One who knows that record is in large measure protected in advance against the delusions and disillusionments of his time.

Perspectivism: The Philosophy Of Will Durant, then, represents Will Durant’s carefully considered opinions on the matter of living a more authentic and meaningful life, a Baedeker to experiencing the joys and avoiding the pitfalls that await us along life’s journey. It is profound and yet simple, espousing an all-embracing common sense that is all but common in these trying times.

Get your copy here.


The manuscript of Will Durant's last unpublished book has been found. Fallen Leaves, written when its author was in his early 80s and long believed to have been lost, was recently discovered in Los Angeles, California.

While in his early eighties, Durant recognized that he was in a race against the clock to compose while his mind was still clear, and to write while his hand was still steady. This last manuscript he entitled Fallen Leaves, as it represented Durant’s final thoughts on life, death, love, marriage, children, literature, science, music, art, sex, religion, morals, war, philosophy, history and God (among other vital topics). Unfortunately, there was no sign of the manuscript for over a quarter of a century. Then, during a routine move by the Durant heirs, the manuscript was discovered, finally bringing to light Will Durant’s last unpublished book and allowing his huge fan base the opportunity to read his final work – and thoughts.

Fallen Leaves represents Durant’s carefully considered opinions on the matter of living a more authentic and meaningful life, a guide from an educated and experienced man to experiencing the joys (and avoiding the pitfalls) that await us along life’s journey. It is a tour de force, making this last drop of vintage Will Durant that much more palatable and fulfilling. Within its pages Will Durant confronts the great questions of life and answers them in prose that is not only informative and engrossing, but that also frequently rises to the heights of great poetry. Durant’s insights are drawn not just from his vast knowledge of human history but on everyday life experience – from our the cycle of life and death, to love, marriage and parenting, to higher education and literature, to US involvement in warfare. Durant’s insights into the higher meaning of life, death, happiness, coping with adversity, sex, and religion are perhaps even more vital today, containing timeless wisdom that seekers of truth (both young and old) will find deeply compelling and richly rewarding.

Durant literary executor John Little is presently looking for a publisher who will actively promote the title and publish it with the respect such a significant manuscript deserves. We will keep you posted on the book's development through this website.


The new trailer for Mel Gibson's directorial follow-up to The Passion of the Christ was released recently, and it features a quote by Will Durant. The trailer opens with the following:

"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."

Gibson's new film, which is currently going through post production, was filmed entirely in the ancient Mayan language. The film is described as "An action/adventure film set 600 years ago, prior to the 16th-century Spanish conquest of Mexico and Central America, where a man goes on a perilous journey to save his idyllic world." The film is tentatively scheduled to be released in the United States sometime during summer 2006. You can view the trailer at the Apocalypto official site.


A new hardcover book by Will and Ariel Durant is now available through the Will Durant Foundation. In 1930, a stranger walked up to the home of Will Durant and asked Durant if he could give him one good reason not to kill himself. The encounter so moved Durant that, in 1932, Durant released On the Meaning of Life, a collection of essays from various public and private figures ruminating on the meaning of life. Long sought and hard to come by, this book is one of the most meaningful books Will Durant ever brought to the public. On the Meaning of Life is book two of a new series entitled "The Will Durant Millenium series", which will include new collections of unpublished Durant material as well as re-issues of some classic but hard-to-find Durant titles. Get your copy now!


For the first time ever, Will Durant's greatest debates, symposiums and dialogues have been compiled into one magnificent book. The book includes debates between Will Durant and Clarence Darrow and Durant and Bertrand Russell, to name just a few. Adventures in Philosophy will also include a symposium on the meaning of religion and a fictional dialogue, written by Durant, where Durant sits down at the table with Voltaire, Neitzche, Hegel, Carlyle, Marx and others brilliant minds to decipher the meaning of history. This book should be available from Promethean Press by fall 2006.


Former reporter Geoff Smith has shared with the Will Durant Foundation his memories of a "raucous" 1975 afternoon of tea and conversation with Will and Ariel Durant. Please go to the "Contributions" section of our website to read all about it.