Civilizations by Felipe Ferna´ndez-Armesto lands on the |> SALE <| shelves in my shop.
Macmillan, 2000, Paperback.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Colour Photographs;
From the cover: Civilizations is a radical cultural history of mankinds relationship with nature, which advances a new understanding of what it means to be civilized.
In his new book Felipe Fernandez-Armesto adopts a unique approach, using environmental categories to make sense of world history. The result is a series of startling and illuminating juxtapositions the maritime civilizations of the Venetians and the Polynesians; the mountain cultures of Tibet and Papua New Guinea; the lifestyles of the English and the Iroquois. Societies that flourished in the Arctic, the rainforest and the desert are re-evaluated alongside those of the ancient river-valleys of Mesopotamia, Egypt and China, where civilization is conventionally supposed to have started. In this book the search for civilization leads not to Imperial Rome, Enlightenment Paris and Renaissance Florence but rather to the Sahara of the Dawada people, the Aleut Islands of the icy northern Pacific, and the Indian Ocean of the oran laut sea people. Illustrated throughout with historical anecdotes, such as the story of Ibn Battuta, the worlds most travelled medieval pilgrim, or a recreation of a timber-buying expedition to the Phoenicians three thousand years ago, Fernandez-Armesto enlivens the theoretical. Finally and controversially, he concludes that cultures can be ranked according to how civilized they are, and that on this scale the culture of white westerners comes low.
Written with the same flair and imagination as Millennium, Civilizations is a richly layered, hawks eye image of the world whole societies evoked from minute fragments of evidence. It is an immensely readable and controversial work about the environment and our historical relationship to it, which challenges the notion that nature is weak in the face of the human threat.
[XX] 636 pages. Index. Bibliography. Trade Paperback (9¼” x 6″).
This book will be eventually reach my delightful website…(added to my History category.) but get 60% off buying from this very blog blog… Buy it now for just £2.60 + P&P! Of course, if you don’t like this one there are plenty more available here!