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Inventing Western Civilization (Cornerstone Books)by Thomas Patterson
Synopses & Reviews
"In this wonderful book, Thomas Patterson effectively dethrones the concept of 'civilization' as an abstract good, transcending human society."
Drawing on his extensive knowledge of early societies, Thomas C. Patterson shows how class, sexism, and racism have been integral to the appearance of "civilized" societies in Western Europe. He lays out clearly and simply how civilization, with its designs of "civilizing" and "being civilized," has been closely tied to the rise of capitalism in Western Europe and the development of social classes.
What is civilization? The term, commonly identified with uplift and order, has come to take on another meaning: the civilized versus the primitive. This book is about the idea of civilization and how, at different times, the concept has been used by the powerful in order to defend their status. Drawing on his extensive knowledge of early societies, anthropologist Thomas C. Patterson shows how class, sexism, and racism have been integral to the appearance of civilized societies in Western Europe.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 133-149) and index.
About the Author
Thomas Patterson is Professor of Anthropology at Temple University and author of numerous books, including The Inca Empire (Berg Publishers).
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