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Encyclopaedia of World Civilizations

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Item Code: HAI865
Author: Lynn Thorndike
Publisher: Shubhi Publications
Language: English
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9788187226345
Pages: 628 (Throughout B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 780 gm
Book Description

When the world war broke out in 1914, I determined to do what little I could to keep civilization alive. This volume is a contribution in that direction. I have written the book because I think it is needed. Historical students, investigators, writers, and readers have long since begun to turn away from the old tale of destruction to survey the past constructively, and to interest themselves in past culture as well as in purely political history. Yet so far there has been no adequate presentation of the main thread of the story of civilization between the covers of a single volume, or, for that matter, in any one work, at least in English. For college students who are pre- paring to enter, let us say, the medical profession, or to specialize in the natural or mathematical sciences, and any others who hardly have the time to pursue more than one course in history, a course in the history of civilization would seem the most fitting. Indeed, such a survey would seem the ideal introduction to all the other studies of the curriculum, since it would indicate at once their background and their interrelation. Yet many institutions of learning have hesitated to institute such an introductory course, partly from the lack of persons qualified to teach it, partly from the lack of any satisfactory text-book. Such a book would also meet the need of the serious-minded reader whose academic education is over but who wishes to review and unify his impressions of the past, and to keep up with the present current of thought and progress of knowledge. It should also prove serviceable to the many Americans who are now for the first time visiting foreign countries and coming into contact with past civilizations.
This book is based on fairly wide reading, on a good deal of intensive travel and study in historic Europe, and on a varied teaching experience. It may not, for example, be generally known that-leaving medieval history aside-I taught college classes in Greek and Roman History for seventeen consecutive years, and a class in English History for fifteen years. These varied labors as general work-horse and utility-man for history departments I have tried to make work together for good in the present volume. It is more directly the outcome of a course in the history of civilization given during the last two years of my teaching at Western Reserve University.
Some may censure me for having gone too far in the way of new organization of materials, new perspective, and independent historical judgments, but these seem hardly avoidable in a work of such scope. Moreover, specialized historical research has for some time been pointing toward the rejection of many of the old generalizations. Especially have I endeavored to show the actual, not the fancied or the sentimental, antecedents of modern civilization. While we think of modern civilization as primarily European and American, the great cultures of the Far East cannot be omitted from any survey of civilization as a whole, and are here treated both per se and in their relations to the west.

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