Books: The Age of the Durants

THE AGE OF NAPOLEON by WILL and ARIEL DURANT 872 pages. Simon & Schuster. $17.50.

Will and Ariel Durant seem to be a permanent natural resource. They have produced eleven bestselling history books in 40 years, spanning the birth of man and following his progress right up till the French Revolution. The Durantian success derives from a unique digest of research, humor, intimate anecdotage and headlong energy. But the once inexhaustible Will, now 90, and his wife Ariel, at 77, have announced that this is their valedictory volume.

The Age of Napoleon focuses on one...

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