Concept

William H. McNeill (historian)

Summary
William Hardy McNeill (October 31, 1917 – July 8, 2016) was an American historian and author, noted for his argument that contact and exchange among civilizations is what drives human history forward, first postulated in The Rise of the West (1963). He was the Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1947 until his retirement in 1987. Early life and education William McNeill was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the son of theologian and educator John T. McNeill, where he lived until age ten. The family then moved to Chicago, while spending summers on a family farm on Canada's Prince Edward Island. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1938 from the University of Chicago, where he was editor of the student newspaper and "was inspired by the anthropologist Robert Redfield". He earned a Master of Arts degree in 1939, also at the University of Chicago, and wrote
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