How the World Made the West: A 4,000-Year History (Hardback)
  • How the World Made the West: A 4,000-Year History (Hardback)
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How the World Made the West: A 4,000-Year History (Hardback)

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Hardback 576 Pages
Published: 29/02/2024
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Waterstones Says

From the Bronze Age to the Age of Exploration, Quinn's revisionist, magisterial volume re-writes the story of 'the West', shedding light on the enormous role mingling of cultures through migration and trade played in creating the western 'civilisations'.

What does history look like without 'civilisations'? Josephine Quinn calls for a major reassessment of the West and the concepts that define it.

The West, history tells us, was built on the ideas and values of Ancient Greece and Rome, which disappeared from Europe during the Dark Ages and were then rediscovered by the Renaissance. In a bold and magisterial work of immense scope, Josephine Quinn argues that the true story of the West is much bigger than this established paradigm leads us to believe. So much of our shared history has been lost, drowned out by the concept – developed in the Victorian era – of ‘civilisations’.

Quinn reveals a new narrative: one that traces the relationships that built what is now called the West from the Bronze Age to the Age of Exploration, as societies met, tangled and sometimes grew apart. She makes the case that it is contact and connections, rather than distinct and isolated civilisations, that drive historical change. It is not peoples that make history – people do.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526605184
Number of pages: 576
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A revelatory account of how the ancient world was much wider and more interconnected than traditionally thought - and the lessons that holds for today - What to Read in 2024, Financial Times

Bold, beautifully written and filled with insights, How the World Made the West demands that we challenge traditional views of the past. An extraordinary achievement - PETER FRANKOPAN

Erudite, inventive, playful – a work of great confidence, empathy, learning and imagination - RORY STEWART

An eye-popping, mind-blowing, ground-breaking juggernaut of an argument, from a writer ready to roar - LUCY WORSLEY

No one but Josephine Quinn could have written a book like this - a book of enormous erudition and curiosity; a book that teaches you something new on almost every page. With a sense of growing political urgency, How the World Made the West reveals the folly of civilisational thinking. In its place, Quinn traces the many entangled paths of art, commerce, religion, and language, forging a deeper and truer understanding of our common world - MERVE EMRE

A masterpiece that gives us a new lens to understand 4,000 years of history - OLIVETTE OTELE

This book – full of memorable stories – is nothing less than a reorientation of the history of “the West.” Josephine Quinn persuasively shows that the mingling of cultures through trade and migration is as old as civilisation itself, breaking down the hackneyed idea of the uniqueness of the Greco-Roman world . . . This is a book to unite us in divided times - SIR JONATHAN BATE

Josephine Quinn is one of the few scholars writing today who could possibly present such a masterful sweeping overview as an accessible and compelling story . . . A marvelous, majestic book. This will be an instant classic - ERIC CLINE

Jo Quinn gives us a fascinating insight into the entanglements that have driven change in our collective past: the journeys, meetings, relationships and exchanges that, more than anything else, have helped shape our world today. It is a brilliant reminder that our human story is – and always will be – empty if we don’t acknowledge the ways in which we have constantly interacted with, and depended on, one another - MICHAEL SCOTT

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