ISBN-10:
0674016920
ISBN-13:
9780674016927
Pub. Date:
04/30/2005
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
From Athens to Auschwitz: The Uses of History

From Athens to Auschwitz: The Uses of History

Hardcover

Current price is , Original price is $29.5. You
Select a Purchase Option (New Edition)
  • purchase options

Overview

From Athens to Auschwitz: The Uses of History

What does history mean today? What is its relevance to the modern world? In contemplating fundamental questions about history and the Western legacy, the noted classical historian Christian Meier offers a new interpretation on how we view the world.

Meier sees an "absence" of history in contemporary Europe and throughout the West--an absence he attributes to the way modern historians have written about history and, more important, to the dramatic transformations of the twentieth century. He argues for the central legacy of Western civilization. He tackles the difficulty of reconciling a historical perspective with our era of extreme acceleration, when experience is shaped less by inheritance and legacy than by the novelty of changes wrought by science and globalization. Finally, Meier contemplates the enormity of the Holocaust, which he sees as a test of "understanding" history. If it is part of the whole arc of the Western legacy, how do we fit it with the rest?

This engaging and thought-provoking meditation challenges us to rethink the role of history in Western culture and a changing world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674016927
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 04/30/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.92(w) x 8.66(h) x 0.91(d)

About the Author

Christian Meier is Professor of Ancient History, Emeritus, at the University of Munich, and the author of several books, including Athens: A Portrait of the City in Its Golden Age and Caesar: A Biography.

Table of Contents

Preface

1. The Absence of History
Assessing the Situation: We Are Running Out of Time

2. Around 1500
The "European Miracle" and What Made It Possible

3. Athens and Rome
The Origins of Europe's Special Path

4. Deeds and Contingencies, Politics and Processes
Where History Takes Place and Who Is Responsible for It

5. Auschwitz

6. A Legacy without Heirs?
What Is Our Legacy and What Is It Good For?

Notes

Index

What People are Saying About This

A daring book, wise and unpedantically learned. Meier's main concern is with Europe's 'special path,' how and why its civilization (and that of its offspring, the United States) came to dominate the world, beginning in the fifteenth century. He analyzes the elements shaping the historic process and reflects searchingly on why in some symbolic but not precise sense Auschwitz marks the end of the special path. The spirit of Jacob Burckhardt pervades this suggestive historical and philosophical meditation.

Michael E. Geyer

Christian Meier has written a challenging, provocative, and timely book. It is a pleasure to observe this eminent ancient historian think through and struggle with the grand questions of European and Western history.
Michael E. Geyer, University of Chicago

Fritz Stern

A daring book, wise and unpedantically learned. Meier's main concern is with Europe's 'special path,' how and why its civilization (and that of its offspring, the United States) came to dominate the world, beginning in the fifteenth century. He analyzes the elements shaping the historic process and reflects searchingly on why in some symbolic but not precise sense Auschwitz marks the end of the special path. The spirit of Jacob Burckhardt pervades this suggestive historical and philosophical meditation.
Fritz Stern, Columbia University,Emeritus

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews