A History of Civilizations

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Penguin Books, 1995 - History - 600 pages
22 Reviews
Fernand Braudel was one of the greatest historians of the twentieth century. A leading member of the Annales school, he rejected a narrow focus on Western warfare, diplomacy, and power politics, and opened up economic and social history to influences from anthropology, sociology, geography, psychology, and linguistics. In the late 1950s, when the Annales approach was widely accepted in French universities, a major reform introduced the study of "the main contemporary civilizations" into the final year of secondary schools. Traditionalists attacked the new stress on the social sciences and eventually triumphed, but Braudel was firmly committed to such changes. This marvelous survey of world history, the last of his books to be translated into English, was originally intended for French "sixth-formers." Yet its real value is far more permanent. Even an "educational story, " Braudel once suggested in a lecture, can become a "tale of adventure, " provided the historian manages to "find the key to a civilization and is not afraid of simplicity - "not simplicity that distorts the truth, produces a void, and is another name for mediocrity, but simplicity that is clarity, the light of intelligence." Such a light shines throughout A History of Civilizations. After an introductory section examining the nature of cultures and civilizations, their continuities and transformations, Braudel surveys broad historical developments in almost every corner of the globe: the Muslim world - from the rise of Islam to post-colonial revival; Black Africa - from the slave trade to the dilemmas of development; the Far East: China, India, the maritime states and Japan; Europe - from the collapse of the Roman Empir to political union; the European civilizations of the New World: Latin America and the United States; the English-speaking universe: Canada, Southern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand; and the other Europe: Russia, the USSR, and the CIS. For this excellent translation, Richard

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Review: A History of Civilizations

User Review  - Shashwat Singh - Goodreads

This book is an overview of the history of the currently existing civilizations(in 1962 when it was written) Ie it is a broad view that looks at large strokes of history. If you're looking for detail ... Read full review

Review: A History of Civilizations

User Review  - Robert Morris - Goodreads

Centralized curriculums are a generally bad idea, but when you've got one written by Fernand Braudel, it is hard not to be jealous of France. I have been saving Braudel for years, on the mistaken ... Read full review

Contents

VI
3
VII
9
IX
15
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About the author (1995)

Fernand Braudel was France's foremost post-war historian. He is best known for The Mediterranean in the Age of Philip II, Civilization and Capitalism and The Identity of France. Richard Mayne is a renowned translator of French. His other translations include Monet's Memoirs.

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