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Civilization: A New History of the Western World (Roger Osborne)

Civilization: A New History of the Western World (Roger Osborne)


"An intellectual high-wire act that the author pulls off with deceptive ease. . . . Battles and wars, scientists and inventors, artists and tycoons, all get their turn in a smoothly rolling narrative. Mr. Osborne, with great skill, ties his disparate topics together into a coherent narrative, as absorbing as any novel. . . . It would be hard to imagine a more readable general history of the West that covers so much ground so incisively."-William Grimes, The New York Times


Ever since the attacks of September 11, 2001, Western leaders have described a world engaged in "a fight for civilization." But what do we mean by civilization? We believe in a Western tradition of freedom that has produced a fulfilling existence for many millions of people and a culture of enormous depth and creative power. But the history of our civilization is also filled with unspeakable brutality-for every Leonardo there is a Mussolini, for every Beethoven symphony a concentration camp, for every Chrysler Building a My Lai massacre.


An ambitious historical assessment of the Western world-tying together the histories of empires, art, philosophy, science, and politics-Civilization reexamines and confronts us with all of our glories and catastrophes. At such a dangerous time in the world's history, this brilliant book is required reading.


For many years Roger Osborne edited books on medicine, psychology, and history. Since 1992 he has been a full-time writer, using particular subjects to demonstrate new ways of understanding the past. 

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