CivilizationsBook - 2000
It is a rare gift that a brilliant and original historian is also a felicitious and riveting writer. Fernandez-Armesto is just such a writer/historian. Author of the bestselling Millennium: A History of the Last Thousand Years and Professor of Modern History at Oxford University, Fernandez-Armesto is known as a provocative thinker who challenges the received wisdom of our era. In Civilizations, Fernandez-Armesto sets out to do nothing less than to define civilization through a sweeping overview of world cultures. Believing that cultures are shaped and defined by the landscape in which they grow, the author daringly organizes his book by ecosystem. He examines and compares cultures of like landscape - desert, seaboard, alluvial flood plain, temperate forest, arctic, mountain - and draws a fascinating thesis out of this scholarship. From the lost Gargantes culture of the African desert to the contemporary San and from the Mayans to the medieval Europeans, Fernandez-Armesto asks: is a successful civilization defined by its sophistication or its longevity? Erudite and ground-breaking, this book will change irrevocably how you look at history and culture. It does so with a breathtaking readability and with a passion and humour not often associated with history. (2000)
Publisher: Toronto : Key Porter Books, 2000.
Characteristics: xx, 636 p.,  p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.