Books: Triumphal March

THE LESSONS OF HISTORY by Will and Ariel Durant. 117 pages. Simon & Schuster. $5.

When the tenth and final volume of their massive The Story of Civilization appeared last year, Historians Will (82) and Ariel (70) Durant promised readers one last postlude volume distilling the observations and conclusions of their 40-odd years of scholarship.

In The Lessons of History, the Durants do not set themselves up as oracles. On the contrary, they are disarmingly honest in admitting that all historians operate with partial knowledge, and that any belief that they can examine a...

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