I also learned about the intentional self-modernization of China, who realized this was braudrl way to combat the European colonizers. Obviously a broad minded genius, but it is interesting to read brauddel in view of the times, and the prophesies he makes, some fulfilled and some not. Amazon Global Store UK International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Manufacturer warranty may not apply Learn more about Amazon Global Store. May 15, Stavros Sachtouris rated it liked it.
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Jaw dropping analysis and synthesis. Braudel took the heavy lifting of his notable trilogy and applied it to a primer, a survey of world history for young students. Starting with Islam and ending with Russia, Braudel uses the long view to explore the definitions of civilization and the migrations, faiths and systems which have cultivated such. I was staggered by the beauty of Braudel The conqured always submit to the stronger; but their submission is merely provisional when civilisations clash.
I was staggered by the beauty of Braudel on India: luminous poetry. He fought the French educational establishment to broaden the scope of history to include material from sociology, anthropology, geography, etc. This was in opposition to the traditional kings and battles approach, and this book was intended as a textbook not accepted by the authorities.
Arguably the movements been quite fruitful, but this book is a very mixed bag occasionally excellent, sometimes quite bad, Braudel is considered one of the great 20th c. The civilizations included are the Muslim World, Black Africa, the Far East includes India , then Europe and European civilization elsewhere to which he devotes half the book.
In spite of the many gaps, blind spots and weaknesses, there are some real high points and original insights. For example, Braudel points out that, while the Crusades are usually seen as unmitigated folly in the West, and while they achieved nothing lasting on land, at their beginning the Mediterranean was dominated by Islam while at their end it was dominated by the West.
This had important consequences limiting Islamic power and culture while removing constraints from those of the West. His take on the United States is fairly sane, with useful analyses of the evolution of American capitalism and of the centralization of power and growth of bureaucracy in the Executive branch of the Federal government.
But the section on the US has its share of romanticisms and a couple chauvinisms that statement probably applies to all societies outside Europe, and perhaps to European ones as well. More importantly, he has a great weakness for making overarching generalizations, usually devoid of rational arguments stocked with facts which might lead us to share his conclusions.
He also spends a fair amount of time contemplating then-contemporary problems and speculating about the future. He defends this, but his performance is unconvincing, particularly in light of events since he wrote
La grammaire des civilisations
Grammaire des civilisations
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