The Best William Durant quotes

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The American entrepreneur, William Durant, is the founder of General Motors and was a pioneer in the automobile industry. This quotes compilation sheds light on his life and offers inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere. Durant overcame many obstacles to achieve great success in business, and his best quotes is an example of what can be accomplished with hard work and determination. He was a true visionary who left a lasting legacy, and his best quotes is sure to motivate others to pursue their dreams.

Discover the most interesting Civilization, Knowledge, Time, Philosophy, History, Freedom quotes from William Durant, and much more.


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About William Durant

birth of the author

December 9, 1861

death of the author

March 18, 1947

occupation of the author



Knowledge that does not generate achievement is a pale and bloodless thing, unworthy of mankind. โ€” Will Durant

Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance. โ€” Will Durant

Knowledge is power but only wisdom is liberty. โ€” Will Durant

As knowledge grew, fear decreased; men thought less of worshiping the unknown, and more of overcoming it. โ€” Will Durant

Knowledge is the eye of desire and can become the pilot of the soul. โ€” Will Durant

Never mind your happiness; do your duty. โ€” Will Durant


A civilization is born Stoic and dies Epicurean. โ€” Will Durant

Education is the transmission of civilization. โ€” Will Durant

H]istory assures us that civilizations decay quite leisurely. โ€” Will Durant

From barbarism to civilization requires a century; from civilization to barbarism needs but a day. โ€” Will Durant

Civilizations come and go; they conquer the earth and crumble into dust; but faith survives every desolation. โ€” Will Durant

Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again. โ€” Will Durant

In the last analysis civilization is based upon the food supply. โ€” Will Durant

Can a civilization hold together if man abandons his faith in God? โ€” Will Durant

The soul of a civilization is its religion, and it dies with its faith. โ€” Will Durant

So I should say that civilizations begin with religion and stoicism: they end with scepticism and unbelief, and the undisciplined pursuit of individual pleasure. A civilization is born stoic and dies epicurean. โ€” Will Durant

Liberty is a luxury of security; the free individual is a product and a mark of civilization. โ€” Will Durant

For you will sorely miss civilization if it is sacrificed in the turbulence of change. โ€” Will Durant

Continue to express your dissent and your needs, but remember to remain civilized, for you will sorely miss civilization if it is sacrified in the turbulence of change. โ€” Will Durant

Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice. โ€” Will Durant

Underneath all civilization, ancient or modern, moved and still moves a sea of magic, superstition, and sorcery. Perhaps they will remain when the works of our reason have passed away. โ€” Will Durant

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. โ€” Will Durant


Freedom and equality are naturan born enemies. โ€” Will Durant

We are living in the excesses of freedom. Just take a look at 42nd Street and Broadway. โ€” Will Durant

The fear of capitalism has compelled socialism to widen freedom, and the fear of socialism has compelled capitalism to increase equality. East is West and West is East, and soon the twain will meet. โ€” Will Durant

Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. โ€” Will Durant

The victors called the revolution a triumph of liberty; but now and then liberty in the slogans of the strong means freedom from restraint in the exploitation of the weak. โ€” Will Durant

If our economy of freedom fails to distribute wealth as ably as it has created it, the road to dictatorship will be open to any man who can persuasively promise security to all. โ€” Will Durant


Those who know nothing about history are doomed forever to repeat it. โ€” Will Durant

Who will dare to write a history of human goodness? โ€” Will Durant

In Constantinople, more Christians were slaughtered by Christians in the years 342โ€“343 than by all the persecutions by pagans in the history of Rome. โ€” Will Durant

War is one of the constants of history, and it has not diminished with civilization or democracy. โ€” Will Durant

History is mostly guessing; the rest is prejudice. โ€” Will Durant

Redundant Thematics

In William Durant Statements


History offers some consolation by reminding us that sin has flourished in every age. โ€” Will Durant

History is so indifferently rich, that a case for almost any conclusion from it can be made by a selection of instances. โ€” Will Durant

Perhaps it is one secret of their power that, having studied the fluctuations of prices, the [bankers] know that history is inflationary. โ€” Will Durant

History reports that the men who can manage men manage the men who can manage only things, and the men who can manage money manage all. โ€” Will Durant

The South creates the civilizations, the North conquers them, ruins them, borrows from them, spreads them: this is one summary of history. โ€” Will Durant

History seldom destroys that which does not deserve to die; and the burning of the tares makes for the next sowing a richer soil. โ€” Will Durant

History repeats itself in the large because human nature changes with geological leisureliness. โ€” Will Durant


The time when you need to do something is when no one else is willing to do it, when people are saying it can’t be done. โ€” Will Durant

Most of us spend too much time on the last twentyโ€“four hours and too little on the last six thousand years. โ€” Will Durant

History is always repeating itself, but each time the price goes up. โ€” Will Durant

It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country. โ€” Will Durant

It came to me that reform should begin at home, and since that day I have not had time to remake the world. โ€” Will Durant

Time sanctifies everything; even the most arrant theft in the hands of the robber’s grandchildren becomes sacred and inviolable property. โ€” Will Durant

There is no significant example in history, before our time, of a society successfully maintaining moral life without the aid of religion. โ€” Will Durant

Tired mothers find that spanking takes less time than reasoning and penetrates sooner to the seat of the memory. โ€” Will Durant

The greatest question of our time is not communism vs. individualism, not Europe vs. America, not even the East vs. the West; it is whether men can bear to live without God. โ€” Will Durant

The past is not dead. Indeed, it is often not even past. โ€” Will Durant


In its youth a people produce mythology and poetry; in its decadence, philosophy and logic. โ€” Will Durant

Philosophy begins when one learns to doubtโ€“โ€“particularly to doubt one’s cherished beliefs, one’s dogmas and one’s axioms. โ€” Will Durant

Science gives us knowledge, but only philosophy can give us wisdom. โ€” Will Durant

Science without philosophy, facts without perspective and valuation, cannot save us from havoc and despair. Science gives us knowledge, but only philosophy can give us wisdom. โ€” Will Durant

It is true that even across the Himalayan barrier India has sent to the west, such gifts as grammar and logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and chess, and above all numerals and the decimal system. โ€” Will Durant

Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art; it arises in hypothesis and flows into achievement. โ€” Will Durant

There is no real philosophy until the mind turns around and examines itself. โ€” Will Durant

In philosophy, as in politics, the longest distance between two points is a straight line. โ€” Will Durant

Philosophy is harmonized knowledge making a harmonious life; it is the selfโ€“discipline which lifts us to serenity and freedom. Knowledge is power, but only wisdom is liberty. โ€” Will Durant


William Durant is one of my favorite authors and his words always leave me feeling inspired. I hope youโ€™ve found these quotes as motivating as I have. If you are looking for more ways to be inspired in your life, check out our online courses. We have a variety of courses on personal growth, business skills, and much more. We would love to help you become the best possible version of yourself.

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