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A Study of History, Vol. 1: Abridgement of Volumes l-Vl (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 10. Dezember 1987

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  • The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
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It is safe to say that there can be few people for whom the reading of Mr Toynbee's work will not be a deeply significant event. It would have struck the imagination of any age by its originality, its range, its learning and its power ... here the reader is offered not some clever and arresting adaptation of the latest novelty in psychology or biology to politics but a large, measured, tranquil and philosophical examination of history by a writer who adds to the rare intellectual equipment needed for so Herculean a task the advantage of experience of public life and contact with foreign scholars and politicians ... nobody can doubt its immense importance to an age that is in disorder because men's habits of mind keep them in a small world while their economic life puts them in a large. The Guardian, Books of the Day from June 26, 1934, in on 30/10/99 'By far the most audacious and imaginative view of man's time on earth yet undertaken by any historian...Reading it is a major intellectual adventure.' _Time Magazine_ 'Anyone interested in the meaning of history, the life and death of civilizations, and the part now being played by our own culture in the whole story of mankind will surely find something in these magnificently fertile studies by one of the very greatest intellects of our day.' _The New Yorker_ 'McNeill's book will be read, and enjoyed, for its own sake. I hope it will revive interest in Toynbee.' The Advertiser, Australia

Synopsis

Arnold Toynbee's analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations has been acknowledged as one of the great achievements of twentieth-century scholarship. D.C. Somervell's abridgement of this monumental work is a great achievement in its own right. While reducing the work to one sixth of its original size, he has succeeded in preserving its method and character. The first volume of the abridgement presents Toynbee's philosophy of history as it appears in the first six volumes of the original work. This volume includes the Introduction; The Geneses of Civilizations; The Growth of Civilizations; The Breakdowns of Civilizations; and The Disintegrations of Civilizations. The second volume comprises volumes 7-10 of the original, including Universal States; Universal Churches; Heroic Ages; Contacts Between Civilizations in Space; Contacts Between Civilizations in Time; Law and Freedom in History; The Prospects of the Western Civilization; and Conclusion.

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Format: Taschenbuch
Toynbee's comparative analysis of the birth life and decline of civilizations is an enlightening masterwork. The corrolations we can draw from history and apply to our own individual development are mind-blowing. A must have in hardback for any library. Takes awhile to work through, but high value added from the experience.
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Format: Taschenbuch
A Study of History is an excellent, lifetime study of how and why civilization progresses through time. Written in 1939, Toynbee predicts the rise of nationalism, the fall of the USSR, and victory of capitalism, and the enormous growth of Western culture. His central theme is simple yet true: civilizations advance by overcoming outside challenges and internal stagnation. Read this once per lifetime.
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Von S.T. am 28. Februar 2013
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
habe lange nach diesem Buch gesucht. Sehr viel Geschichte in einer flüssig lesbaren, komprimierten Version. Sehr empfehlenswert, Dazu gibt es auch ein zweites Teil davon
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Amazon.com: 4.2 von 5 Sternen 41 Rezensionen
136 von 140 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Challenge and Response 14. März 2004
Von Bart Leahy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I first became acquainted with the name of Arnold Toynbee through reading the science fiction of Arthur C. Clarke. Later, I saw references to him in Heinlein and Poul Anderson, and decided to see what it was all about. This book was worth reading. Toynbee's thesis is that all societies rise and fall through a process of "challenge and response."
As long as a society is growing, encountering new challenges, overcoming them, and moving on to other challenges, it is healthy. He also describes the "dominant minority," "external proletariat," and "internal proletariat" groups that make up societies. For instance, to take the example of Rome, the Romans themselves were the dominant minority, whose traditions sustained the Republic and then the Empire. The internal proletariat of Rome was the Christian religion, which came to inherit the prestige of the Romans. The external minorities were the Slavic and Germanic tribes on the northern borders, which were kept at bay until the dominant minority lost its will to expand.
Toynbee does not see empires (such as the Roman Empire) or "universal states" as triumphs of a society's strength, but rather as a sign of weakness. A healthy society expands, develops creative arts, and encourages social mobility; an empire has rigid rules of conduct, laws, and social hierarchy. Toynbee's thesis is an excellent primer for understanding history, and can easily be applied to today's societies, including ours. He offers many different examples of growing, static, and declining societies, and shows an incredible mastery of his subject.
Now the bad news: This is dry, tough reading. There are no maps, no visuals, and few "helps" for people unfamiliar with world history. Toynbee wrote for a scholarly audience, and assumed everyone reading would know what he was talking about. Toynbee also has a streak of racism that most clearly comes across in his discussion of Africa. He does not even deem African civilizations in his text, and decries the influence of "African rhythms" on Western culture (jazz, at the time of his writing). You've got to really like history to get into this stuff, but there are some profound things in Toynbee's work, which can make you look seriously at who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.
67 von 77 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen And you thought Nostrodomus was a prophet! 23. Juni 1998
Von Bob G. - author, investor, entrepreneur - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
A Study of History is an excellent, lifetime study of how and why civilization progresses through time. Written in 1939, Toynbee predicts the rise of nationalism, the fall of the USSR, and victory of capitalism, and the enormous growth of Western culture. His central theme is simple yet true: civilizations advance by overcoming outside challenges and internal stagnation. Read this once per lifetime.
36 von 41 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An absolute must have hardcover to pass down to your kids 27. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Toynbee's comparative analysis of the birth life and decline of civilizations is an enlightening masterwork. The corrolations we can draw from history and apply to our own individual development are mind-blowing. A must have in hardback for any library. Takes awhile to work through, but high value added from the experience.
23 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The case for History as a guide 27. Februar 2005
Von D. Taylor - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I came to this book through a personal study of the secrets of human development. Singapore's miracle of development from 1970 on was the immediate precursor to discovering this work. The architect, Lee Kuan Yew, repeated read Toynbee's work through his career and used the challenge and response theory effectively to lift his country. Study of History is an enduring masterpiece. Clearly, it is more detailed and rich addressing western civilizations than eastern, but some of this imbalance might be due to the abridgement. I also find it interesting to contrast the book with Jared Diamond's "history as science" theory and would have loved to have seen Toynbee's consideration of Diamond's scholarship. Though Toynbee's emphasis is on the social, cultural and spiritual levels and boxes in geo physical factors in accord with the science of his era, I believe the two works complement each other in the end.
61 von 76 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen 4 Stars Only Because of Abridgment 30. Juli 2002
Von Bruce Kendall - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I don't normally go after other reviewers, but the dolts submitting their thoughts about this author are uninformed in the extreme. If ever there were a "desert island" author and a book that I would want to have with me on said island it is this one (though not the abridged version). Toynbee is a true polymath and one of the progenitors of Jacob Burckhardt, Daniel J. Boorstin, Jacques Barzun, et al. He delivers in concise, exquisitely rendered prose, an overview of western culture that has never been matched in terms of scope and economy - two terms that are not always congruous. For insights into the development of western civilization, its driving forces, main events, greatest influences, etc. , one need look no further than Toynbee. To compare it to Wells' work is to compare persimmons to oranges. One leaves a slightly bitter, puckery taste, the other slakes one's thirst.
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