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A History of Civilizationsby Fernand Braudel
Synopses & Reviews
"Refreshingly broad-brush in its approach...this history provides the big picture."—The Christian Science Monitor. Written from a consciously anti-enthnocentric approach, this fascinating work is a survey of the civilizations of the modern world in terms of the broad sweep and continuities of history, rather than the "event-based" technique of most other texts.
"The great French historian Fernand Braudel has done what only giants can: he has made Western man confront the problem of time—individual time, historical time, relative time, real time. At first this seems so simple that one is astonished. What, after all, is the historian's business? The answer is that Braudel, more than any other historian ever, has wrestled with man's conception of time over time. The fishermen on the Costa del Sol who feared Barbary pirates shared much with their descendants who glanced up at the passing jetliner, but there is real change, and Braudel has tried to isolate it. He is the first to admit that he cannot—but what a magnificent fight he has fought." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
Written in 1962 as the basis for a history course, this book is a history of the civilizations of the modern world (from the 8th century on), written in terms of the broad sweep and continuities of history, rather than "event-based".
This groundbreaker by one of the premier historians of this century takes an anti-ethnocentric approach to the history of civilizations. This book focuses on the broad sweep of history rather than on the famous events. It covers historical developments in almost every corner of the globe, from the Muslim world and the Far East to Europe and the Americas. Includes maps.
Table of Contents
List of Maps
By Way of Preface
Introduction: History and the Present Day
I. A History of Civilizations
1. Changing Vocabulary
2. The Study of Civilization Involves All the Social Sciences: Civilizations as geographical areas; civilizations as societies; civilizations as economies; civilizations as ways of thought.
3. The Continuity of Civilizations: Periods within civilizations; underlying structures; history and civilization
II. Civilizations Outside Europe
Part I. Islam and the Muslim World
4. History: Islam as a successor civilization: the Near East in new form; the history of the Near East; Muhammad, the Koran and Islam; Arabia: the problem of a barely urbanized culture.
5. Geography: Islam's lands and seas; a continent as intermediary: trade-routes and towns.
6. The Greatness and Decline of Islam: No Muslim civilization before the eighth or ninth century; the golden age of Islam: eighth to twelfth centuries; science and philosophy; stagnation or decadence: twelfth to eighteenth centuries.
7. The Revival of Islam Today: The end of colonialism and the birth of new nationalist movements; Muslim States in the modern world; Muslim civilization in the twentieth century.
Part II: Africa
8. The Past: Geography; the dark past.
9. Black Africa: Today and Tomorrow: The awakening of Africa; economic and social issues at stake; art and literature.
Part III: The Far East
10. An Introduction to the Far East: What geography shows; barbarism against civilization: the evidence of history; distant origins: the reasons for cultural immobility.
11. The China of the Past: Religion; politics; social and economic affairs.
12. China Yesterday and Today: The time of imposed treaties: China as humiliated victim (1839-1949); China renewed; Chinese civilization in the modern world.
13. India Yesterday and Today: Ancient India (before the British Raj); British India (1757-1947): an ancient economy at grips with the modern West; Will India be spared a Chinese-style revolution?
14. The Maritime Far East: Indo-China; Indonesia; The Philippines; Korea.
15. Japan: Japan before Chinese influence; Japan learns from Chinese civilization; modern Japan.
III. European Civilizations
Part I: Europe
16. Geography and Freedom: Europe takes shape: fifth to thirteenth centuries; liberty and rights: eleventh to eighteenth centuries.
17. Christianity, Humanism, and Scientific Thought: Christianity; humanism and humanists; scientific thought before the nineteenth century.
18. The Industrialization of Europe: The origins of the first Industrial Revolution; the spread of industrialism in Europe (and beyond); socialism and industrialism.
19. Unity in Europe: Outstanding art and culture; economic interdependence; political delay.
Part II: America
20. Latin America, the Other New World: Geography; nature and society: literature bears witness; racial problems: quasi-fraternity; the economy: civilizations on trial.
21. America par excellence: The United States: A reassuring past: opportunities and setbacks; colonization and independence; conquering the West; industrialization and the growth of towns.
22. Failures and Difficulties: From Yesterday to the Present: An old nightmare: Black America, an ineradicable colony; capitalism: from the trusts to State intervention and oligopoly; the United States in the world.
23. An English-speaking Universe: In Canada: France and Britain; Southern Africa: Dutch, British, and Blacks; Australia and New Zealand, or Britain at last unchallenged.
Part III: The Other Europe: Muscovy, Russia, the USSR and the CIS
24. From the Beginning to the October Revolution of 1917: Kiev; the Russian Orthodox Church; Greater Russia.
25. The USSR After 1917: From Marx to Lenin; Marxism and Soviety civilization; the Congress of October 1961.
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