“Our Oriental Heritage” is a monumental work penned by historian and philosopher Will Durant, first published in 1935 as the inaugural volume of “The Story of Civilization” series. This remarkable book delves into the sprawling history of the Eastern world, encompassing the civilizations of India, China, Japan, and the Middle East. In its pages, Durant masterfully weaves together narratives of cultural, social, and intellectual evolution, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of the development of human societies in the East.
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Spanning over 1,000 pages, “Our Oriental Heritage” is a captivating journey through time, tracing the origins of human civilization from prehistoric times to the threshold of the modern era. Durant skillfully navigates through the complexities of Eastern history, exploring the birth of agriculture, the rise of empires, the spread of religions, and the flourishing of art and philosophy. The narrative is richly detailed, offering insights into the lives of both common people and influential figures who shaped the course of history.
The book examines key civilizations such as the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Indians, Chinese, Persians, and Greeks, highlighting their contributions to various fields and their impact on the development of human thought and culture. Durant’s engaging prose and extensive research make the book an informative and thought-provoking read.
“Our Oriental Heritage” has garnered widespread acclaim for its comprehensive scope and insightful analysis. Critics and scholars alike have praised Durant’s ability to synthesize vast amounts of historical information into a coherent and engaging narrative. The book’s emphasis on cultural exchanges, technological advancements, and philosophical developments has been lauded for providing readers with a deeper understanding of Eastern civilizations.
Reviewers have commended Durant’s captivating storytelling, which brings to life the personalities and events that have shaped the Eastern world. The book’s emphasis on the interconnectedness of civilizations and the enduring relevance of historical lessons has resonated with readers seeking a broader perspective on humanity’s past.
“The present is the past rolled up for action, and the past is the present unrolled for understanding.” – Will Durant
“Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.” – Will Durant
“Knowledge is the eye of desire and can become the pilot of the soul.” – Will Durant
“Culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit.” – Jawaharlal Nehru
Q : Is “Our Oriental Heritage” solely focused on Eastern history?
A : While the book primarily explores Eastern civilizations, it also emphasizes the interactions between Eastern and Western cultures, showcasing the interconnectedness of human development.
Q : Is the book suitable for casual readers or primarily for scholars?
A : Durant’s accessible writing style makes the book suitable for both casual readers interested in history and scholars seeking a comprehensive overview of Eastern civilizations.
Q : Does the book delve into specific cultural aspects of Eastern societies?
A : Yes, the book examines various cultural aspects, including art, literature, religion, and philosophy, shedding light on the diverse tapestry of Eastern societies.
Q : How does “Our Oriental Heritage” relate to the rest of “The Story of Civilization” series?
A : “Our Oriental Heritage” serves as the foundational volume of the series, providing essential context for understanding the subsequent volumes, which explore the history of Western civilizations.
“Our Oriental Heritage” is a masterpiece that invites readers to embark on a captivating exploration of the Eastern world’s rich and complex history. Will Durant’s insightful narrative and profound observations make this book a timeless treasure for anyone seeking to comprehend the evolution of human civilization in the East.