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"Enthusiastic readers of popular history have come to expect the author of Millennium and Truth: A History and Guide for the Perplexed to deliver a read filled with wonders, important insights, wit and outrageous opinion. In this marvelous new work, Fernandez-Armesto, a member of the Modern History Faculty at Oxford, starts with a simple premise: civilization is not evidenced by a formal political structure, aesthetics, ethical principles or religion, but rather by a culture's attempt to refashion its environment. His overview of the world's civilizations (arranged by habitat desert, tundra, etc. rather than by more traditional categories) admits no progress, and, in fact, alleges that to believe otherwise is a dangerous business that breeds complacency in the face of moral perils. The vivid writing is equal to the scope of the author's ambition, to catalogue most, if not all, of the civilizations the world has seen. Scattered within the fact-filled portraits are numerous opinions on topics large and small, opinions that mark Fern ndez-Armesto, if not a contrarian, a formidable iconoclast: civilization did not "originate" in the "alluvial soils" of Mesopotamia, the idea of Proto-Indo-European language developing in isolation is "an obvious fantasy" and "most" accounts of history include "too much hot air and not enough wind." But, despite a chilling evaluation of "western civilization" and its global influence, he concludes on a pragmatic, almost optimistic note."
- Publishers Weekly (US)

Very favourable reviews on

Paperback 2002.

545 pages.

Good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95, or $6.95 by tracked mail. If you are on rural delivery and want tracked mail, the shipping cost will be $9.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston ?North following the auction.

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  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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