A modern approach to a subject generally considered dry as dust, is this introductory volume of Will Durant's vast project. I venture to prophesy that -- with the Simon & Schuster backing, and the sales history of The Story of Philosophy -- this will hit the best seller lists in short order. It ought to line up the same sort of buying public that H. G Well's Outline of History produced, although the narrowing down of the subject of volume I to ""our Oriental heritage"" may scare some people off. Once the reader gets under way, he will agree, I feel sure, with the statement that Durant has made ancient history very much here and now, has linked our present indissolubly with our past, has breathed new life into the skeleton outline of our school days, and infused it with the spirit of adventure which makes modern archeology a vital, dramatic subject. There is a facility about the presentation of the subject that would seem to indicate superficiality, but actually gives the best sort of proof of mastery of his subject. One feels that not only has he approached it through primary sources, ancient and modern, but that he has familiarized himself with the physical background, knows -- at first hand -- the places he recreates for his readers. The Near East treats of the far distant past; India and the Far East brings past and present into focus, -- clear, dramatic, readable, and up-to-date survey of the modern Orient , with its roots in the past. There is less, perhaps, of the human element than one has been led to expect from Durant. The book is not a tabloid product. But, if the succeeding four volumes carry out the promise of the first, it is an essential book for every reasonably well equipped private library, for all public libraries,for all high school and college libraries. Publishers have prepared full dummies, circulars for securing advance orders, guarantee of 50-50 on local newspaper advertising, linked with original order. Build up your advance. It will pay you, as it is not a book for quick, popular, over-the-counter sale.