The final and most personal work from Pulitzer Prize - winning author and historian Will Durant - discovered 32 years after his death - is a message of insight for everyone who has sought meaning in life or the council of a wise friend in navigating life's journey.
From 1968 to 1978, Will Durant made four public allusions to the existence of Fallen Leaves. One, in 1975, hinted at its contents: "a not very serious book that answers the questions of what I think about government, life, death, and God." And in 1975: "I propose... to answer all the important questions, simply, fairly, and imperfectly." Even into his 90s,he worked on the book daily, writing it out on legal notepads. Upon his death in 1981, no one, not even the Durant heirs, knew if he had completed it, or even if it still existed. Thirty-two years later, in a granddaughter's attic trunk, the manuscript was discovered.
Fallen Leaves is Will Durant's most personal book. It is precisely as he described: 22 short chapters on everything from youth and old age, religion and morals, to sex, war, politics, and art. The culmination of Durant's 60-plus years spent researching the philosophies, religions, arts, sciences, and civilizations from across the world, Fallen Leaves is the distilled wisdom of a gifted scholar with a renowned talent for rendering the insights of the past accessible. In its preface Durant mentions that over the course of his career, he received letters from "curious readers who have challenged me to speak my mind on the timelessquestions of human life and fate." With Fallen Leaves, he accepted their challenge. It contains strong opinions, elegant prose, and deep insights into the human condition as only Will Durant could provide, as well as his revealing conclusions about the perennial problems and greatest joys we face as a species.
©2014 John Little and the Estate of Will and Ariel Durant (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Audiofan on 16-11-15

Fascinating and humorous look at life

Would you consider the audio edition of Fallen Leaves to be better than the print version?

I didn't read the print version, but love Grover Gardner's voice and it fits Durant's voice so well, I know I would prefer the auydio version!

What did you like best about this story?

Just down-to-earth observations and wisdom told in a charming and folksy manner

Which scene was your favorite?

Just about all of them

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Each vignette touched me differently. I can't say I was "moved" but perhaps "mood-lightened"

Any additional comments?

Grover Gardner is the perfect Durant, Twain, Faulkner, Steinbeck...Americana voice. I really love simply listening to him....he might actually be able to make the Atlanta phone book charming and slightly witty.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By jason on 19-12-14


Enjoyed this book almost as much as I enjoy the story of civilization series. I disagree with several of his ideas, but listening was joyful anyway. Surprised to find out he knew Emma Goldman, stunned at his conservative sexual views, my only negative remark is that the book isn't longer and more detailed. I recommend the title to every Durant fan out there.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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