Books by William H. McNeill

Released: Nov. 1, 1983

"Once again: a monumental thesis, compactly and matter-of-factly put."
In two papers (delivered at Baylor in 1982) and 61 pellucid pages, McNeill (The Rise of the West, Plagues and Peoples, The Human Condition) revives and renews Walter Prescott Webb's thesis that European expansion created a Great Frontier around the globe—where not only progress, freedom, and equality prevailed, but also destruction, compulsion, and slavery: "the persistent double-edgeness of change." Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1982

"As a survey of military history, though, it's a work of exceptional breadth."
In his Plagues and Peoples (1976) University of Chicago historian McNeill surveyed world history from the perspective of the influence of microparasites in human life and social organization; this much longer overview is based on "macroparasites"—i.e., other human beings. Read full book review >
PLAGUES AND PEOPLES by William H. McNeill
Released: Sept. 10, 1976

"A brilliantly conceptualized and challenging scholarly achievement."
McNeill's global history of infectious disease and its effect on the political destinies of men is built on a stunning analogy: the "microparasitism" of viruses and bacteria—carriers of typhoid, malaria, et al.—is intimately bound up with the "macroparasitism" of human predators, be they Chinese warlords, Roman soldiers, or Spanish conquistadors. Read full book review >
Released: May 9, 1974

"It is a model which has tacitly informed his work for some time; its explicit enunciation is enlightening."
McNeill wishes to "demonstrate the feasability as well as the importance of explicitly seeking an overall interpretive scheme for European history." Read full book review >
A WORLD HISTORY by William H. McNeill
Released: April 27, 1967

"One wonders why anyone needs A World History when the complete text of The Rise of the West is available in paper for only a dollar and a half."
William H. McNeill's The Rise of the West is perhaps the most lucid and intelligent one-volume presentation of world history in narrative form ever written. Read full book review >
Released: May 28, 1947

"A useful book, quick highspotting of modern history in the making, brief pen portraits of the leaders."
Current interest in and concern with Greece and our commitments there will make this book of immediate interest to many who have not previously provided a market. Read full book review >

"A fair and stimulating look at an immensely gifted, immensely flawed figure."
The reputation of Arnold Toynbee—whose Study of History was called by Time magazine "the best available guide to the meaning of history and the destiny of humankind"—has over the intervening years slipped into a scholarly limbo. Read full book review >