William H. McNeill has died. He (pictured, via) was 98 years old.
The Chicago-Sun Times reports that McNeill was well-known as a college professor and an author. Many would consider his best work to be the 1963 best seller, The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community. This nonfiction book earned McNeill a National Book Award in 1964.
Here’s more from The New York Times: “Professor McNeill conceived The Rise of the West in 1936 as an antidote to Oswald Spengler’s gloomy Decline of the West and Arnold Toynbee’s A Study of History, which postulated that civilizations marched to their own drummers, largely unaffected by foreign influences. Professor McNeill’s book looked beyond Europe to argue that the dynamic give and take between civilizations and nations over five millenniums defined global history and spurred the rise of the West since 1500…The Rise of the West was one of more than 20 books Professor McNeill wrote in a career that included four decades of teaching history at the University of Chicago, where he was also chairman of the history department.” (via The Washington Post)