Teachers: The Essence of the Centuries

In a dun-colored mansion in the Hollywood Hills, removed a scant two miles in space but at least two centuries in spirit from Hollywood and Vine, Will Durant, 79, and his wife Ariel, 67, are hurrying toward completion of their grand 40-year educational project: squeezing the essence of 110 centuries of civilization into ten books. Driven by a sense of their own mortality and the teacherly obsession to share all that they can learn, the Durants have completed Volume IX, The Age of Voltaire, to be published in November, and have rushed ahead of schedule on their final work,...

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