Stolen Legacy by George G.M. James, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Stolen Legacy

Stolen Legacy

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by George G. M. James
     
 

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George James was a professor at a small black college in Arkansas during the 1950s when he wrote this book. Originally from Guyana, he was an intellectual who studied African and European classics. He soon realized something was wrong with the way the history of philosophy had been documented by Western scholars. Their biggest mistake, according to James, was they had

Overview

George James was a professor at a small black college in Arkansas during the 1950s when he wrote this book. Originally from Guyana, he was an intellectual who studied African and European classics. He soon realized something was wrong with the way the history of philosophy had been documented by Western scholars. Their biggest mistake, according to James, was they had assumed philosophy had started with the Greeks. James had found that philosophy was almost entirely from ancient Egypt and that the records of this had not only been distorted but, in many cases, deliberately falsified. His conclusion was that there was no such thing as Greek philosophy because it was stolen from the Egyptians. As a result, this was one of the first books to be banned from colleges and universities throughout North America. Although opponents have eventually found some flaws, it remains a groundbreaking book to this day. Even the famous Greek historian from the 5th century, Herodotus, admitted that the Greeks had borrowed many important ideas and concepts from the Egyptians. These ideas covered not just philosophy, but also medicine, architecture, politics and more. The purpose of this book is to restore the truth about African contributions to higher thought and culture.

Editorial Reviews

Sacred Fire
Stolen Legacy stands among the first scholarly works that have attempted to recover the "lost" history of early African civilization. George G. M. James was a professor of Latin, Greek, and mathematics. It was his interest in the roots of Greek philosophy and the seemingly "immaculate conception of Western civilization" that brought him to ask such questions as Who were the Greek scholars? Who were their teachers? How did what they learned fit into the contemporary Greek worldview? And, when James considered the fates of the greatest of them—Anaxagoras was imprisoned and exiled, Socrates executed, Plato sold into slavery, and Aristotle exiled—he wondered why they were considered to be undesirable citizens in their own land.

Could it be that Greek philosophers were so mistreated because they imported a foreign and therefore subversive worldview? For example, Pythagoras, the "father of geometry" and the first Greek philosopher, was purported to have traveled to Egypt. He settled in Italy and practiced a simple, communal life, the goal of which was to live in harmony with the divine. To that end, he prescribed a regimen of purification that included dietary restrictions and periods of silence and contemplation. He taught the kinship of all life and the immortality and transmigration of the soul.

Stolen Legacy argues that Greek philosophers were not the originators of Greek philosophy, but that they derived it from Egyptian priests. James posits that Greece during this period of "enlightenment" was, in fact, constantly engaged in war and internal conflict, creating an environment not conducive to the evolution of philosophy. He bluntly states that Greek philosophy was the off-spring of the Egyptian Mystery System and that the Egyptians educated the Greeks.

Upon its publication in 1954, Stolen Legacy was not well received; however, it has remained in print to this day as a controversial chronicle of the possible African origins of classical civilization. Even if you don't agree with all of James's conclusions, the questions he asks and the theories he asserts are fascinating to anyone interested in studying classical civilizations from an African-centered perspective.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781604595413
Publisher:
Wilder Publications
Publication date:
11/28/2008
Pages:
136
Sales rank:
381,575
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.50(d)

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Meet the Author

George G. M. James was born in Georgetown, Guyana, South America. His parents were Reverend Linch B. and Margaret E. James. George studied at Durham University in Britain and after a period at the University of London he gained his doctorate at Columbia University, New York, USA. He then qualified to teach mathematics, Latin, and Greek. Later he was Professor of Logic and Greek at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina for two years, before working at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff. Dr. James was the author of the widely circulated Stolen Legacy: The Greeks Were Not the Authors of Greek Philosophy, But the People of North Africa, Commonly Called the Egyptians. It was first published in 1954 and is still in print. In this book, Dr. James seeks to prove, among others things, that the Ancient Greeks were not the original authors of Greek philosophy, which he claims was mainly based on ideas and concepts that were borrowed without acknowledgement, or indeed stolen, from the ancient Egyptians. Stolen Legacy was highly controversial, in large part because of several dubious historical assertions.

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Stolen Legacy 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
WorldCitizen More than 1 year ago
Pure Gold Dust - beyond the imaginations of the Enslaved Intellectual. A must read for All who seek Total Enlightenment and Truth. Should be made more widely available.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Educational
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