William H. McNeill, Professor and Prolific Author, Dies at 98Historians in the News
tags: obituary, William H McNeill
William H. McNeill, a professor and prolific author whose catholic exploration of world history widened the traditional Eurocentric approach to the subject, died on Friday in Torrington, Conn. He was 98.
His death was confirmed by his son John Robert McNeill, a third-generation historian, with whom he collaborated on “The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History” in 2003.
Professor McNeill’s opus, “The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community” (1963), took 10 years to write. It became a best seller, won the National Book Award for history and biography and was lauded in The New York Times Book Review by the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper. “This is not only the most learned and the most intelligent,” he wrote, “it is also the most stimulating and fascinating book that has ever set out to recount and explain the whole history of mankind.”
Professor McNeill conceived “The Rise of the West” in 1936 as an antidote to Oswald Spengler’s gloomy “Decline of the West” and Arnold Toynbee’s “A Study of History,” which postulated that civilizations marched to their own drummers, largely unaffected by foreign influences.
Professor McNeill’s book looked beyond Europe to argue that the dynamic give and take between civilizations and nations over five millenniums defined global history and spurred the rise of the West since 1500. ...
comments powered by Disqus
- The JFK Document Dump Could Be a Fiasco Say These Two Scholars
- The book Mattis reads to be prepared for war with North Korea
- Civil War’s legacy hangs over a plaque honoring Confederate soldiers
- Confederate statues still stand in rural Virginia
- Advocates are starting to push for LGBTQ history to be taught in public schools
- Historian Keri Leigh Merritt defends activist scholars
- Historian digs into the hidden world of Mormon finances
- A historian who became a business professor?
- Allan Lichtman's response to critics of his book that makes the case for Trump’s impeachment
- "Do We Have To Fight Nazis Again?” asks historian Paul Ortiz