By (author) Clive Ponting
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World History by Clive Ponting
Book DescriptionConventional accounts of world history tend to focus on the rise of Western civilisation and concentrate on the story of ancient Greece, the Roman empire and the expansion of Europe. The histories of the great civilisations of China, India and Japan, and therefore the experience of the majority of the world's people, have been relegated to a minor place. World History adopts a radically different approach. Starting from the assumption that the human story has to be seen in the round, it examines the evolution of humans, their lives as hunters and gatherers and their eventual adoption of agriculture, before looking at the emergence of civilisation across the globe; in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, the Indus Valley, Mesoamerica and Peru. It goes on to tell the story of the earliest empires, emphasising not just their differences but also their similarities. It explains how contacts were established between them and how technologies, ideas and the world's great religions travelled from one to another. It describes the great empires of Islam, of China and of the Mongols. Only towards the end of the story does Europe come slowly to dominate the world, against the background of technical innovations and social and economic change.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780712665728
(234mm x 156mm x 59mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 4-Oct-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Clive Ponting
New Green History of the World, Paperback (May 2007)
Studies the relationship between the environment and human history. This book examines world civilizations from Sumeria to ancient Egypt, from Easter Island to the Roman Empire and it argues that human beings have repeatedly built societies that have grown and prospered by exploiting the Earth's resources.
Gunpowder, Paperback (November 2006)
Tells the story of the huge impact of gunpowder on every state and empire in the world. This title includes interesting facts.
Crimean War, Paperback (November 2005)
Tells the story of the heroism of the ordinary soldiers, through eye-witness accounts of the men who fought and those who survived the terrible winter of 1854-55. To contemporaries, it was 'The Great War with Russia' - fought not only in the Black Sea and the Crimea, but also in the Baltic, the Arctic, the Pacific, and the Caucasus.
Thirteen Days, Paperback (June 2003)» View all books by Clive Ponting
Diplomatic history - of 13 July 1914 to Tuesday 4 August - with a narrative of mounting tension and containing much orginal research and analysis.
UK Kirkus Review » The advent of the third millennium has produced more than a fair share of books which survey the previous, hundred, thousand or even ten thousand years. Many are merely reworkings of tired formulas, which add nothing to our knowledge or understanding. This, however, is far more interesting as a project in that the author invites us to refocus our perceptions of the human history of the world away from the conventional eurocentric approach. Any text that serves to undermine this smug eurocentrism and the underlying assumptions of (white) racial superiority implicit in so many world histories has to be welcomed. Ponting certainly argues coherently for a longer look at the continuities of history and a greater awareness of 'other' founts of political social, economic and cultural development, primarily in Asia. The basic thesis is succintly outlined in the introduction and the detailed structuring of the book and prioritizing of events and processes outside Europe and North America do give it a different feel. Ponting deals with the charge of making vast generalizations by arguing that all histories are a question of selection. True up to a point, but some of his generalizations and statements on the detailed debates of more recent history may cause a few raised eyebrows. Is the thesis convincing? Should we see the history of the world as having been driven by Asia with the European and Atlantic domination of the last few centuries merely a temporary phenomenon? To paraphrase Mao Zedong when asked, about the French Revolution, nearly two hundred years after the event, 'too early to tell'. Review by BOB MOORE. Editor's note: Bob Moore is the Editor of Resistance in Western Europe. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Clive Ponting
Clive Ponting is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Wales, Swansea. His Green History of the World was a bestseller in many countries.
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