A Brief History of the Human Race

A Brief History of the Human Race

by Michael Cook, M. A. Cook
     
 

ISBN-10: 0393052311

ISBN-13: 9780393052312

Pub. Date: 09/19/2003

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

Denying any attempt at a "Grand Unified Theory of history," Cook (Near Eastern studies, Princeton U.) presents his history of human- kind, necessarily selective and "patchy." He devotes a significant portion of the text to the development of cultures in different geographical zones of the world before turning his attention to more typical matters such as the rise of

Overview

Denying any attempt at a "Grand Unified Theory of history," Cook (Near Eastern studies, Princeton U.) presents his history of human- kind, necessarily selective and "patchy." He devotes a significant portion of the text to the development of cultures in different geographical zones of the world before turning his attention to more typical matters such as the rise of Islam and the expansion of Europe. These latter chapters are the closest he comes to presenting a "Grand Unified Theory," with his suggestion that globalization began with Islam providing the thematic basis for the closing chapters. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393052312
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
09/19/2003
Pages:
385
Product dimensions:
5.76(w) x 8.46(h) x 1.32(d)

Table of Contents

List of Mapsxv
List of Figuresxvii
Prefacexix
Part 1Why is History the Way it is?
1.The Palaeolithic Background3
I.Why Did History Happen When It Did?3
II.Genetics and the Origins of the Human Race9
III.Stone Tools14
2.The Neolithic Revolution19
I.Why Has the Making of History Been a Runaway Process?19
II.The Genetics of Domesticated Plants and Animals30
III.Pottery34
3.The Emergence of Civilization38
I.Did Humans Make the Only Kind of History They Could?38
II.Writing44
III.Kingship47
Part 2The Smaller Continents
4.Australia55
I.A Continent of Hunter-Gatherers55
II.Getting Married among the Aranda63
III.Flaked Points and Other Novelties69
5.The Americas75
I.From Alaska to the Tierra del Fuego75
II.Mesoamerican Calendars88
III.The Quipu94
6.Africa99
I.The African Cultural Gradient99
II.The Age-group Systems of East Africa112
III.Shabtis and the Egyptian Way of Death118
Part 3The Eurasian Landmass
7.The Ancient Near East125
I.The Life and Death of the World's Oldest Civilization125
II.Downsizing the Pantheon136
III.Archaism142
8.India147
I.Why India Was Not Just a Subcontinent147
II.The Nambudiri Brahmins of Kerala164
III.Of Gods and Courtesans171
9.China175
I.The Making of China175
II.Keeping in Touch with the Ancestors194
III.Shang Bronzes: What's in a Name?200
10.The Ancient Mediterranean World205
I.Frogs around a Pool205
II.The Background to Athenian Democracy222
III.Attic Black- and Red-Figure227
11.Western Europe234
I.An Unlikely Corner of the World?234
II.The Monstrous Regiment of Women251
III.Jupiter's Paramours258
Part 4Toward One World?
12.Islamic Civilization267
I.From Sea to Shining Sea267
II.Muslim Ethnography287
III.The Muslim Calendar290
13.The European Expansion295
I.What the Europeans Did295
II.How Some Non-Europeans Responded308
III.The Sniffing Habit320
14.The Modern World325
I.Haves and Have-nots325
II.The Lofty Towers342
III.Jupiter's Paramours Again348
Conclusion354
Further Reading360
Credits369
Index373

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