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The French historian takes an anti-ethnocentric look at the broad, continuing sweep of the history of civilization since the eighth century. By the author of The Structures of Everyday Life.
Extensively illustrated and exceptionally appealing in its narrative style, this best-selling, classic survey of the history of Western civilization - with emphasis on Western European societies - offers a short, crisp, and balanced presentation of traditional and "new" subjects, approaches, and controversies, and shows throughout how the historian goes about the craft of research, interpretation, and writing. The book is available in a variety of volume splits to accommodate different lesson lengths. It includes extracts from historical and contemporary sources and documents, discussions on "doing history," and detailed timelines.
Extensively illustrated and exceptionally appealing in its narrative style, this best-selling, classic survey of the history of Western civilization - with emphasis on Western European societies - offers a short, crisp, and balanced presentation of traditional and "new" subjects, approaches, and controversies, and shows throughout how the historian goes about the craft of research, interpretation, and writing. The book is available in a variety of volume splits to accommodate different lesson lengths. It includes extracts from historical and contemporary sources and documents, discussions on "doing history," and detailed timelines.
“A lively popular history of an oft-overlooked element in the development of human society” (Library Journal)—walls—and a haunting and eye-opening saga that reveals a startling link between what we build and how we live. With esteemed historian David Frye as our raconteur-guide in Walls, which Publishers Weekly praises as “informative, relevant, and thought-provoking,” we journey back to a time before barriers of brick and stone even existed—to an era in which nomadic tribes vied for scarce resources, and each man was bred to a life of struggle. Ultimately, those same men would create edifices of mud, brick, and stone, and with them effectively divide humanity: on one side were those the walls protected; on the other, those the walls kept out. The stars of this narrative are the walls themselves—rising up in places as ancient and exotic as Mesopotamia, Babylon, Greece, China, Rome, Mongolia, Afghanistan, the lower Mississippi, and even Central America. As we journey across time and place, we discover a hidden, thousand-mile-long wall in Asia's steppes; learn of bizarre Spartan rituals; watch Mongol chieftains lead their miles-long hordes; witness the epic siege of Constantinople; chill at the fate of French explorers; marvel at the folly of the Maginot Line; tense at the gathering crisis in Cold War Berlin; gape at Hollywood’s gated royalty; and contemplate the wall mania of our own era. Hailed by Kirkus Reviews as “provocative, well-written, and—with walls rising everywhere on the planet—timely,” Walls gradually reveals the startling ways that barriers have affected our psyches. The questions this book summons are both intriguing and profound: Did walls make civilization possible? And can we live without them? Find out in this masterpiece of historical recovery and preeminent storytelling.
In this third volume covering the flourishing period from the third to the eighth century A.D., scholars describe the powerful role played by the Sasanian state in Iran, the Gupta empire in India and the T'ang dynasty in China. Waves of nomadic migrations and the formation of steppe empires left their mark on political and social life. This multiethnic society had its roots in the great religious traditions of Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, Christianity and Shamanism. The Islamization of a great part of the region brought fundamental changes to all aspects of life. Intensive trade along the Silk Route encouraged cultural and scientific exchanges, making this period one of impressive artistic and intellectual creativity.

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