A History of Civilizations: 2
A. Lane, The Penguin Press, 1994 - 600 páginas
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 Empire 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 Mayne has gently updated the text. And yet, as he explains in his Introduction, very little was necessary. Braudel always had an astonishingly firm grasp on the broad sweep of history - a grasp which, "in the hands of a master, can help explain the most dramatic convulsions in the past, the present, and the future."
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LibraryThing ReviewCrítica de los usuarios - tommi180744 - www.librarything.com
This is a translation from the French of a pre-2nd Millennium History that develops wide-ranging themes & encompasses every important aspect of the rise of Humans in what is now regarded as a very ... Leer comentario completo
LibraryThing ReviewCrítica de los usuarios - jonfaith - www.librarything.com
The conqured always submit to the stronger; but their submission is merely provisional when civilisations clash. Jaw dropping analysis and synthesis. Braudel took the heavy lifting of his notable ... Leer comentario completo
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