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The Evolution of Civilizations: An Introduction to Historical Analysis (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Januar 1979

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"The only book that improves on and develops Toynbees work. ... The very best work of its kind I have read in a very long time."


A comprehensive and perceptive look at the factors behind the rise and fall of civilizations. Quigley defines a civilization as "a producing society with an instrument of expansion". A civilization's decline is not inevitable but occurs when its instrument of expansion is transformed into an institution-that is, when social arrangements that meet real social needs are transformed into social institutions serving their own purposes regardless of real social needs.


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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Carroll Quigley gehört zu den einflussreichsten US-Historikern des 20. Jahrhunderts, Bill Clinton, der ihn Georgetown bei ihm studierte, nannte ihn einen seiner einflussreichsten Lehrer. Und tatsächlich dürfte die Theorie der Entwicklung von Hochkulturen insbesondere für die Verteidiger des US-Imperiums von großen Interesse sein, zumal Quigley einen durchaus engen Kontakt zur herrschenden Klasse unterhielt. Kurz gesagt versucht Quigley, der zunächst Biochemiker werden wollte, in diesem Buch ein wissenschaftliches Modell der Entstehung und des Untergangs von Hochkulturen zu entwickeln. "Wissenschaftlich" bedeutet für ihn die Ermittlung objektiver, allgemeingültiger Gesetzmäßigkeiten, deren Erklärung, sowie deren Einsatz zu diagnostischen und prognostischen Zwecken. Konkret gesagt besteht seine überzeugend begründete These darin, dass die Entwicklung von Hochkulturen nach einer inneren Logik verläuft, die sich mit sieben Etappen veranschaulichen lässt: Mixture- Gestation- Expansion - Age of Conflict - Universal Empire - Decay - Invasion. Je nach Rahmenbedingungen können Dauer und Ausprägung der einzelnen Stadien sich von Zivilisation zu Zivilisation unterscheiden, ihre Abfolge ist jedoch insbesondere durch eine innere Dynamik vorgeprägt, die Luhmann später in seinen "Sozialen Systemen" im Einzelnen ausgearbeitet hat: Staatliche Instrumente und Wirtschaftsformen, die ursprünglich die Funktionen hatten, Wohlstand zu schaffen und die soziale Ordnung zu garantieren beanspruchen aufgrund ihrer zentralen Rolle mehr und mehr Ressourcen, die in zunehmenden Maße für den Fortbestand des Systems eingesetzt werden und daher der Gesellschaft nicht mehr zur Verfügung stehen.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Von Ein Kunde am 9. Juni 1999
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Well, I can't claim to have hobnobbed with the President recently (nor would I care to do so), but I too found this book to be fascinating reading.
The great value of this work is that it goes beyond the mere "what happeneds" and "who did whats." Quigley asks the much more important and valuable question: "how." How do new civilizations come into being? How do they change? How do they die? (And the unspoken echo: What will happen to our own civilization?)
Because he was trained as a scientist, Quigley proceeds to develop a methodological basis for answering that question of "how." He then demonstrates the soundness of that method by examining the great civilizations of history, pointing out not just the forms they took but _how_ they came to take those particular forms.
That makes this book sound pretty dry. It's not. One of the charms of Quigley's writing is his obvious impatience with what he considered to be "wrong" ideas. At some points, he's downright grumpy. Yet he never gives the impression of disagreeing from personal reasons; instead, every one of his views that he asserts as likely true is shown to be supported by the available evidence. It's actually great fun trying to guess what respected belief he'll casually demolish next. (Though it's a bit unsettling when its one's own ox being gored, as Quigley didn't play favorites. Getting the most out of this book will call for real objectivity.)
To be more specific about this work, it's one that should appeal to anyone who is more concerned with understanding systems as a whole than with how to win some short-term game or just memorize names and dates.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen 49 Rezensionen
17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen History through a Scientist's Eyes 6. Mai 2008
Von Kenneth J. Dillon - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I am a professional historian and one-time student of Carroll Quigley. Rereading "The Evolution of Civilizations" after 40 years, I heard his voice speaking across time and felt once again the uncanny penetration of his analytical mind. I suppose that he was the most remarkable person I have ever met.
This book makes a major contribution to the study of civilizations, previously the preserve of writers of a literary or philosophical bent. Quigley was through and through a scientist who strove to analyze the rise and fall of civilizations and develop explanations of their dynamics that went well beyond the descriptive treatments of Toynbee and others.
Quigley's seven stages of the rise and fall of civilizations, his six dimensions of analysis (military, political, economic, social, religious, and intellectual), and his application of the concept of institutionalization of once-productive "instruments" of society to explaining the stages of Expansion and Conflict are superior to any competing framework of analysis I have encountered. They deserve careful scrutiny for what they can tell us about the interaction of civilizations in our globalizing world.
I found especially interesting Quigley's analysis of how climate change shaped prehistorical population movements, his discussion of the philosophical struggles of classical antiquity, and his explanation of the economic factors driving European expansion and conflict.
That this book has never received much attention from professional historians should not surprise us. Quigley was operating in a mode that led him to diverge from the mainstream and to upset more than a few specialists.
While this book certainly contains high value for students of world history, its teachings can be applied in other fields as well. I have found the analytical techniques and the explanation of science and epistemology in this book repeatedly fruitful in my own historical, scientific, and criminal detective work.
For more on Quigley, try a Google or Yahoo search under "Carroll Quigley: Theorist of Civilizations".
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brilliant - a milestone in philosophy 6. Februar 2010
Von Steve S. Jones - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Perhaps one the most important, yet little known, events in human history was the denigration of Aristotelian philosophy. While this event took centuries to complete, it reached its final completion in the late 1950s early 60s. With this went the teaching of the Philosophia Perennis, the study of real truth, reason and logic as applied to wisdom. Perennial Philosophy was traditionally comprised of the seven spheres of knowledge, logic, rhetoric, math, etc. Part of the reason for The Philosophy's demise, I believe, was for centuries nobody had found a way of judging history that fit in with the system, thus protecting it from modernistic Idealism. One of many tactics opponents used to make the system obsolete was advancing the notion that history cannot be judged, it has no 'story' underneath to anchor truth: there is no truth - history is written by the winners - all truths are just cultural, etc.

In this work, Carroll Quigley has successfully found and supported what I believe is a legitimate 'eighth sphere', a means of assessing history according to Aristotelian standards. This is no small feat. Had this book been written in any other point of history, Quigley would have been heralded as one of the great philosophers. But alas, he wrote this book precisely at the very moment when The Philosophy was breathing its last.

If you are dismayed at the direction of modern society, take time and find the collected works of Fr. Celestine Biddle, read them, and then take in the fine wine of this book and see how society might have been had Quigley showed up sooner.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Before "Guns, Germs and Steel"... 12. Dezember 2009
Von Bruce Kinsey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Read Quigley's "The Evolution of Civilizations" carefully and you'll come away with new ways of thinking about the PROCESSES of history, and of approaching historical analysis and contemporary societal problems.

Well before Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steel" Carroll Quigley was teaching Ancient History to young students at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He was not only a brilliant researcher, analyst, writer and lecturer on history and historical processes, but also a gifted instructor, who left his students with a memorable set of frameworks, tools, stories, examples and anecdotes that many carry with them for the rest of their lives. It's this latter quality that undoubtedly led President Clinton to name Quigley as one of the three people who most influenced his thinking... though I'm afraid Bill forgot a lot. (Another Clinton favorite, the late Professor Walter Giles, also taught at the School of Foreign Service.)

Even Quigley's tests were memorable. What other history prof, for example, would challenge his students as follows: "Imagine you are in the Athenian forum on a marketday morning in 450 BC. Look around you and tell me what you see.")

You've gotta love an instructor that good.
5.0 von 5 Sternen This is how to understand history 25. August 2016
Von Mark E Billows - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
As a fan of history and science, I read this book and it is like seeing the world completely anew. It is mid blowing in the first 50 pages alone. It synthesizes concepts so clearly that you immediately grasp how to dissect and understand not just history, but the present. This may have been written in 1961, but it feels not just ahead of its time, but our own time.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Five Stars 17. Oktober 2016
Von Alexander Robinson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Excellent book. Thorough, in depth, and very readable. This is a great resource.
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