Ariel Durant

Ariel Durant (/dəˈrænt/; 10 May 1898 – 25 October 1981)[1] was a Russian-born American researcher and writer. She was the coauthor of The Story of Civilization with her husband Will Durant. They were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction.

Ariel Durant
William and Ariel Durant
Will and Ariel Durant (1930)
Chaya (Ida) Kaufman

May 10, 1898
DiedOctober 25, 1981 (aged 83)
OccupationHistorian and writer
Spouse(s)Will Durant


Born in Proskurov, Russian Empire (now Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine) as Chaya (Ida) Kaufman[2] to Jewish parents Ethel Appel Kaufman and Joseph Kaufman. The family emigrated in 1900, lived for several months in London 1900-01 en route to the United States, where they arrived in 1901. She had three older sisters, Sarah, Mary, and Flora, and three older brothers, Harry, Maurice, and Michael.[2] Flora became Ariel's companion and sometime assistant, and moved with the Durants to California.

She met her future husband when she was a student at Ferrer Modern School in New York City. He was then a teacher at the school, but resigned his post to marry Ariel, who was 15 at the time of the wedding, on October 31, 1913.[3] The wedding took place at New York's City Hall, to which she roller-skated from her family's home in Harlem. The couple had one daughter, Ethel Benvenuta,[2] and adopted a son, Louis.

The Durants were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1968 for Rousseau and Revolution, the tenth volume of The Story of Civilization. In 1977 they were presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Gerald Ford, and Ariel was named "Woman of the Year" by the city of Los Angeles.

The Durants wrote a 420-page joint autobiography, published by Simon & Schuster in 1978 (A Dual Autobiography; later ISBN 0-671-23078-6).

The Durants died within two weeks of each other in 1981 and are buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Ariel told Ethel's daughter, Monica Mehill, that it was their differences that made them grow.[2]


  1. ^ Mitgang, Herbert (October 28, 1981). "Ariel Durant, Historian is Dead; Wrote The Story of Civilization". The New York Times. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d KANNER, DIANE (1987-05-24). "Durants Made History in Hollywood Hills Home". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2017-10-10.
  3. ^ Hyman, E Paula; Moore, Deborah Dash, eds. (1997), "Durant, Ariel", Jewish Women in America, Taylor & Francis, p. 343.

External links

1968 Pulitzer Prize

The following are the Pulitzer Prizes for 1968.


In common law jurisdictions, an acquittal certifies that the accused is free from the charge of an offense, as far as the criminal law is concerned. This is so even where the prosecution is simply abandoned by the prosecution. The finality of an acquittal is dependent on the jurisdiction. In some countries, such as the United States, an acquittal operates to bar the retrial of the accused for the same offense, even if new evidence surfaces that further implicates the accused. The effect of an acquittal on criminal proceedings is the same whether it results from a jury verdict, or whether it results from the operation of some other rule that discharges the accused. In other countries, the prosecuting authority may appeal an acquittal similar to how a defendant may appeal a conviction.

Culture of Los Angeles

The culture of Los Angeles is rich with arts and ethnically diverse. The greater Los Angeles metro area has several notable art museums including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the J. Paul Getty Museum on the Santa Monica mountains overlooking the Pacific, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Hammer Museum and the Norton Simon Museum. In the 1920s and 1930s Will Durant and Ariel Durant, Arnold Schoenberg and other intellectuals were the representatives of culture, in addition to the movie writers and directors. As the city flourished financially in the middle of the 20th century, culture followed. Boosters such as Dorothy Buffum Chandler and other philanthropists raised funds for the establishment of art museums, music centers and theaters. Today, the Southland cultural scene is as complex, sophisticated and varied as any in the world.

Durant (surname)

Durant is a surname of French and English origin. It ultimately derives from the Latin omen name Durandus, meaning "enduring". Notable people with the surname include:

Adrian Durant (born 1984), sprint athlete from the U.S. Virgin Islands

Albert Durant (1892–?), Belgian water polo player

Ariel Durant (1898–1981), co-author of The Story of Civilization with husband Will Durant

Cliff Durant (1890–1937), American racecar driver

Darian Durant (born 1982), CFL football player

Don Durant (1932–2005), American actor and singer

George Durant (1632–1692), Attorney General from North Carolina

Henry Durant (1802–1875), first president of the University of California

Henry Bickersteth Durant (1871–1932), Bishop of Lahore (1913–32)

Henry Fowle Durant (1822–1881), American lawyer and philanthropist

Hugh Durant (1877–1916), British sport shooter

Isabelle Durant (born 1954), Belgian politician

Joanne Durant (born 1975), Barbadian track and field sprinter

Joe Durant (born 1964), American professional golfer

John Charles Durant (1846–1929), English printer and Liberal politician

Justin Durant (born 1985), NFL football player

Kenneth W. Durant (1919–1942), U.S. Navy sailor

Kevin Durant (born 1988), American basketball player

Louis Durant (1910–1972), American racecar driver

Michael Durant (born 1961), U.S. Army helicopter pilot held prisoner in Somalia in 1993

Mike Durant (baseball) (born 1969), former American Major League baseball player

Paul Durant (born 1959), former American racecar driver

Sam Durant (born 1961), American artist

Thomas C. Durant (1820–1885), American financier

Tony Durant (born 1928), British politician

Will Durant (1885–1981), American philosopher, historian and author, husband of Ariel Durant

William C. Durant (1861–1947), pioneer of U.S. automobile industry

William West Durant (1850–1934), American architect and designer

Extended order

Extended order is an economics and sociology concept introduced by Friedrich Hayek in his book The Fatal Conceit. It is a description of what happens when a system embraces specialization and trade and "constitutes an information gathering process, able to call up, and put to use, widely dispersed information that no central planning agency, let alone any individual, could know as a whole, possess or control.” The result is an interconnected web where people can benefit from the actions and knowledge of those they don't know. This is possible and efficient because a proper legal framework replaces trust, which is only practical in small circles of people who know each other socially. The extended order is at the heart of Hayek's thesis, in The Fatal Conceit, where he argues that "our civilization depends, not only for its origin but also for its preservation, on what can be precisely described only as the extended order of human cooperation, an order more commonly, if somewhat misleading, known as capitalism.”

Gandhi's Truth

Gandhi's Truth: On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence is a 1969 book about Mahatma Gandhi by the German-born American developmental psychologist Erik H. Erikson. It won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction

and the U.S. National Book Award in category Philosophy and Religion.The book was republished in 1993 by Norton.


Heresy () is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. A heretic is a proponent of such claims or beliefs. Heresy is distinct from both apostasy, which is the explicit renunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is an impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.The term is usually used to refer to violations of important religious teachings, but is used also of views strongly opposed to any generally accepted ideas. It is used in particular in reference to Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.In certain historical Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures, among others, espousing ideas deemed heretical has been and in some cases still is met with censure ranging from excommunication to the death penalty.

Jacques Necker

Jacques Necker (IPA: [ʒak nɛkɛʁ]; 30 September 1732 – 9 April 1804) was a banker of Genevan origin who became a finance minister for Louis XVI and a French statesman. Necker played a key role in French history before and during the first period of the French Revolution.Necker held the finance post between 1777-1781 and "is remembered today for taking the unprecedented step in 1781 of making public the country’s budget, a novelty in an absolute monarchy where the state of finances had always been kept a secret." Necker was dismissed within a few months. By 1788 the inexorable compounding of interest on the national debt brought France to a fiscal crisis. Necker was recalled to royal service. When he was dismissed on 11 July 1789 it caused the Storming of the Bastille. Within two days Necker was recalled by the king and the assembly. Necker entered France in triumph and tried to accelerate the tax reform process. Faced with the opposition of the Constituent Assembly he resigned in September 1790 to a reaction of general indifference.

Necker, apparently a constitutional monarchist, also a political economist and a moralist wrote a severe critique of the new principle of equality before the law. Necker fully embraced the label of moderate and the concept of the golden mean.

List of Jewish American historians

This is a list of famous Jewish American historians. For other famous Jewish Americans, see List of Jewish Americans. See also List of Jewish historians.

Ariel Durant

Barbara Tuchman

Bernard Bailyn

Bernard Lewis

Cyrus Adler

Daniel J. Boorstin

Deborah Hertz

Deborah Lipstadt

Erwin Panofsky

Gabriel Kolko

Herbert Aptheker

Howard Zinn

John Lukacs, Hungarian-born historian

Joseph Jacobs, editor of the Jewish Encyclopedia

Meyer Schapiro

Norman Cantor

Norman Finkelstein, author and historian

Peter Gay

Raul Hilberg

Richard Ettinghausen, art historian

Richard Hofstadter

Richard Popkin, historian of philosophy

Robert Fogel, economist and historian

Rosa Levin Toubin, historian of Jewish Texan history

Stanley M. Wagner, rabbi and academic

Stanley Elkins

Yosef Goldman

List of Ukrainian women writers

This is a list of women writers who were born in Ukraine or whose writings are closely associated with that country.

M. Lincoln Schuster

Max Lincoln Schuster (; March 2, 1897 – December 20, 1970) was an American book publisher and the co-founder of the publishing company Simon & Schuster. Schuster was instrumental in the creation of Pocket Books, and the mass paperback industry, along with Richard L. Simon, Robert F. DeGraff and Leon Shimkin. Schuster published many famous works of history and philosophy including the Story of Civilization series of books by Will Durant and Ariel Durant.

Michael Korda

Michael Korda (born 8 October 1933) is an English-born writer and novelist who was editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster in New York City.

Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary

Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary is a cemetery and mortuary located in the Westwood Village area of Los Angeles. It is located at 1218 Glendon Avenue in Westwood, with an entrance from Glendon Avenue.The cemetery was established as Sunset Cemetery in 1905, but had been used for burials since the 1880s. In 1926 the name was officially changed to Westwood Memorial Park and was later changed again to Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park & Mortuary. Although it is the resting place of some of the entertainment industry's greatest names, it also contains the graves of many uncelebrated people. For example, when Marilyn Monroe died in 1962, Joe DiMaggio, responsible for Monroe's arrangements, chose Westwood not because of its celebrities but because it was the resting place of her mother's friend, Grace Goddard, and Goddard's aunt, Ana Lower, both of whom had cared for Monroe as a child.

The Lessons of History

The Lessons of History is a 1968 book by historians Will Durant and Ariel Durant.

The book provides a summary of periods and trends in history they had noted upon completion of the 10th volume of their momentous eleven-volume The Story of Civilization. Will Durant stated that he and Ariel "made note of events and comments that might illuminate present affairs, future probabilities, the nature of man, and the conduct of states."Thus, the book presents an overview of the themes and lessons observed from 5,000 years of world history, examined from 12 perspectives: geography, biology, race, character, morals, religion, economics, socialism, government, war, growth and decay, and progress.

The Plain

The Plain (French: La Plaine), better known as The Marsh (French: Le Marais), was a political group in the French National Convention during the French Revolution. Its members were known as Maraisards, or derogatory Toads (French: Crapauds) as toads live in marshes. They sat between the Girondists' right-wing and Montagnards' left-wing. None of these three groups was an organized party as is known today. The Mountain and the Girondists did consist of individuals with similar views and agendas who socialized together and often coordinated political plans. However, The Plain consisted of delegates that did not belong to either of these two groups and as such was even more amorphous. The Plain constituted the majority of delegates to the Convention and would vote with either the Girondists or Mountain depending on the issue at hand, the current circumstances and mood of the Convention. They initially sided with the Girondists, but later backed the Mountain in executing Louis XVI and inaugurating the Terror. They later abandoned the Mountain, inaugurating the Thermidorian Reaction.

The Story of Civilization

The Story of Civilization, by husband and wife Will and Ariel Durant, is an 11-volume set of books covering Western history for the general reader.

The series was written over a span of more than four decades. It totals four million words across nearly 10,000 pages, with 2 further books in production at the time of the authors' deaths. In the first volume (Our Oriental Heritage, which covers the history of the Middle East and Orient to 1933), Will Durant stated that he wanted to include the history of the West to the early 20th century. However, the series ends with The Age of Napoleon because the Durants both died – she in her 80s and he in his 90s – before they could complete additional volumes. They also left behind notes for a 12th volume, The Age of Darwin, and an outline for a 13th, The Age of Einstein, which would have taken The Story of Civilization to 1945.

The first six volumes of The Story of Civilization are credited to Will Durant alone, with Ariel recognized only in the Acknowledgements. Beginning with The Age of Reason Begins, Ariel is credited as a co-author.

The series won a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1968 with the 10th volume in the series, Rousseau and Revolution.

In the preface to the first volume, Durant states his intention to make the series in 5 volumes, although this would not turn out to be the case.

The volumes sold well for many years, and sets of them were frequently offered by book clubs. An unabridged audiobook production of all eleven volumes was produced by the Books on Tape company and was read by Alexander Adams (aka Grover Gardner).

Thermidorian Reaction

The Thermidorian Reaction was a counter revolution which took place in France on 9 Thermidor of the Year II (27 July 1794). On this day, the French politician Maximilien Robespierre was denounced by members of the National Convention as "a tyrant", leading to Robespierre and twenty-one associates including Louis Antoine de Saint-Just being arrested that night and beheaded on the following day.

Will Durant

William James "Will" Durant (; November 5, 1885 – November 7, 1981) was an American writer, historian, and philosopher. He became best known for his work The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife, Ariel Durant, and published between 1935 and 1975. He was earlier noted for The Story of Philosophy (1926), described as "a groundbreaking work that helped to popularize philosophy".He conceived of philosophy as total perspective or seeing things sub specie totius (a phrase inspired by Spinoza's sub specie aeternitatis). He sought to unify and humanize the great body of historical knowledge, which had grown voluminous and become fragmented into esoteric specialties, and to vitalize it for contemporary application.The Durants were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1968 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.

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