- (2003). The Human Web: A Bird's-Eye View of World History (with J. R. McNeill). New York: W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-92568-4 有譯本
- (2005). The Pursuit of Truth: A Historian's Memoir. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. 《追求真理：威廉‧麥克尼爾回憶錄》
- (2009). Summers Long Ago: On Grandfather's Farm and in Grandmother's Kitchen. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing Group. ISBN 9781933782713.shing Group. ISBN 9781933782652.
Historian William H McNeill dead at 98
USA TODAY - 1 day agoNEW YORK - William H. McNeill, the prize-winning scholar who wove the stories of ...
Historian William H McNeill dead at 98
Hillel Italie, Associated Press5:46 a.m. EDT July 13, 2016
NEW YORK - William H. McNeill, the prize-winning scholar who wove the stories of civilizations worldwide into the landmark “The Rise of the West” and helped pioneer the history of disease and epidemics in “Plagues and People,” has died at age 98.
McNeill died Friday at his home in Torrington, Connecticut, according to Steve Koppes, associate news director at the University of Chicago, where McNeill was a professor emeritus.
McNeill wrote more than a dozen books, notably “The Rise of the West,” published in 1963 and greeted by The New York Times as “the most stimulating and fascinating” work of world history ever released. It won the National Book Award, sold well despite exceeding 800 pages and later was ranked No. 71 by the Modern Library among the 20th century’s best English-language nonfiction books.
The title of McNeill’s book was a direct challenge to Oswald Spengler’s “The Decline of the West.” But “The Rise of the West,” its narrative extending from the Paleolithic Age to the present, was also born out of a Freudian struggle with McNeill’s hero and father figure Arnold Toynbee, then the reigning scholar of world history. Toynbee believed that civilizations of the East and West had essentially developed independently and their stories were separate. McNeill countered that they were very much part of one story, one of “contacts and “exchanges” and the triumph of Western innovation over the stagnation of Muslim and Chinese culture.
“Indeed, world history since 1500 may be thought of as a race between the West’s growing power to molest the rest of the world and the increasingly desperate efforts of other peoples to stave Westerners off,” wrote McNeill, who also cautioned that another civilization could yet overtake the West.
McNeill was criticized for writing too favorably of the West and would acknowledge flaws. In a “retrospective essay,” he noted that “The Rise of the West” was in part influenced by the Cold War and the United States’ post-World War II ascendance. He underestimated the Chinese, “gave undue attention to Latin Christendom” and showed “scant concern for the sufferings of the victims of historical change.” He faulted the scholarship of the time, but also “the bias” of his education and “personal idiosyncrasies” that led him to favor stories of Western success. But he welcomed disagreement. The past, he was sure, would be captured with ever greater “precision, richness, and accuracy beyond anything previously possible.”
McNeill always looked for new ways to explain the world. He did not track change through the feats of great men, but through everyday innovation, technology and the mixing of cultures. He documented the democratizing effect of the close-order military drill, the moldboard plow’s transformation of agriculture, the impact of potato farming. He studied closely what happened when “cakes of custom collided,” whether between rural and urban cultures, rival religions or rival countries.
McNeill regarded his future books as sequels and correctives to “Rise of the West.” In the 1976 release “Plagues and People,” he was among the first to examine the impact of infectious disease in history, from ancient Eurasia to the 20th century. He anticipated the AIDS epidemic that would break out a few years later and helped launch a field of scholarship that includes Jared Diamond, Laurie Garrett and Richard Preston.
His other works included “The Pursuit of Power” and a reluctant biography of his fallen idol, Toynbee, written on request by Toynbee’s wife. In 2003, he collaborated with his son, J.R. McNeill, on “The Human Web: A Bird’s Eye View of History.” His memoir, “The Pursuit of Truth,” came out two years later.
He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. His father, John T. McNeill, was a theologian and Medieval historian who sought to find common beliefs among Christians worldwide; the younger McNeill would see his scholarship as a secular version of his father’s calling. He was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, and a graduate student at Cornell University. His formal education was suspended in 1941 after the attack on Pearl Harbor and his enlistment in the Army, in which he served five years. But he continued to observe and absorb. He shared quarters with men of widely differing backgrounds. He learned cryptography and tasted the imperial power of being a commanding officer. McNeill especially valued his assignment to gather intelligence on the Communist uprising in Greece.
“What better experience could a historian have than to find himself observing revolution and counterrevolution close-up?” he wrote in his memoir.
After the war, he met and married Elizabeth Darbishire, whose father was a close friend of Toynbee’s. In 1947, McNeill joined the faculty of the University of Chicago and remained for 40 years.
A turning point came in the early 1950s when he accepted Toynbee’s offer to come to London and assist on a project about World War II. After two years, McNeill was disillusioned. He found that Toynbee resisted new ideas and “was sloppy in his scholarship.” McNeill returned to the states and worked on what he knew would be his “big book.”
“I typed the manuscript of ‘The Rise of the West’ on a portable Underwood noiseless typewriter that my parents had given me as a 21st birthday present,” he wrote in his memoir. “It was accompanied by a verse my father composed inviting me to ‘write a book of lasting worth.’”
William H. McNeill, Professor and Prolific Author, Dies at 98
New York Times - 2 days ago
William McNeill, U. of Chicago prof, prolific author, dead at 98
Chicago Sun-Times - 22 hours ago
作者 : ［美］威廉·麥克尼爾 William McNeill
出版社:浙江大學出版社原作名: The Pursuit of Truth: A Historian's Memoir 譯者 : 高照晶出版年: 2015-9-15 頁數: 222 定價: 36 裝幀:平裝
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作者簡介 · · · · · ·
威廉·麥克尼爾（William Hardy McNeill）1917年生於加拿大溫哥華，著名美國歷史學家。曾長期執教美國芝加哥大學歷史系。他的研究著眼於跨國家、跨地區、跨民族、跨文化的文明互動現象。對於確立世界史在美國學術界的地位做出了不可磨滅的貢獻。著作多達二十餘種，影響深遠，其中主要的有《西方文明史手冊》、《西方的興起》、《世界史》和《人類之網》。
第四章從《瘟疫與人》到退休（1976 —1987） 110
第五章在科爾布魯克的退休時光（1987— ） 139