The Pursuit of Truth
A Historian's Memoir
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
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This memoir has been slow to achieve its present form. When my children read an earlier version they advised against publication on the ground that it was too narrowly personal and of no general interest. I then set out to broaden its scope by acknowledging indebtedness to others, thus connecting myself with ...
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I was born on 31 October 1917 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. That day happened to be the four hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in Germany, and my father, who was then teaching church history at a newly established Presbyterian college in Westminster, B.C., noted that fact ...
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When I first put on an army uniform I expected to retain my academic habits and learn Russian in spare time. But lack of a light to read by in the barracks soon made initial gestures in that direction abortive. Altogether, I spent five years and two months on active duty, and by the time of my final discharge in November 1946, I had risen from private to captain. The variety of experiences ...
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The years between the publication of The Rise of the West in 1963 and the appearance of Plagues and Peoples in 1976 were in many respects the apex of my career. I became chairman of the Department of History in 1961, nourishing the ambition of expanding the department to embrace the history of every part of the world. ...
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These twelve years saw the apex of my professional reputation but were also a time of diminution as our children left home, ties with the University of Chicago weakened, and my physical and perhaps intellectual energies began to decline. My mother died in Vermont in 1970, and my father followed her five years later while visiting us in Chicago. ...
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In March 1987, I retired from the University of Chicago, with forty years of teaching and variegated participation in the university community behind me. The Department of History arranged a farewell dinner at which Hanna Gray, president of the university, spoke briefly. The whole occasion was marred for me by the fact that ...
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William H. McNeill Publications
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Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2005