An Intimate History of Humanity

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Random House, Dec 31, 2012 - Philosophy - 496 pages
2 Reviews
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'The book that changed my life... a constant companion' Bill Bailey

'Extraordinary and beautiful...the most exciting and ambitious work of non-fiction I have read in more than a decade' The Daily Telegraph

This extraordinarily wide-ranging study looks at the dilemmas of life today and shows how they need not have arisen. Portraits of living people and historical figures are placed alongside each other as Zeldin discusses how men and women have lost and regained hope; how they have learnt to have interesting conversations; how some have acquired an immunity to loneliness; how new forms of love and desire have been invented; how respect has become more valued than power; how the art of escaping from one's troubles has developed; why even the privileged are often gloomy; and why parents and children are changing their minds about what they want from each other.


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User Review  - Kirkus

A courageous, often profound, and extraordinary attempt by one of England's best historians to cut through the pessimism and parochialism of the profession and to find the bonds of humanity underlying ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mandojoe - LibraryThing

I've just begun Zeldin's An Intimate History of Humanity. He writes well enough: simple sentences and simple diction; doesn't hide indecision behind a lot of fluff. I like the meditations. They remind ... Read full review


How humans have repeatedly lost hope and how
encounters and a new pair of speaacles revive them
How people searching for their roots are only beginning
How some people have acquired an immunity to
How new forms of love have been invented
Why there has been more progress in cooking than in sex
How the desire that men feel for women and or other
How respect has become more desirable than power
How those who want neither to give orders nor to receive

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About the author (2012)

Theodore Zeldin, educated at Birkbeck College London and Christ Church Oxford, is senior fellow of St Antony's College Oxford. He has been awarded the Wolfson Prize for History, been elected a member of the European Academy, and figures on the Magazine Littéraire's list of the hundred most important thinkers in the world today.

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