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A History of Civilizations


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Fernand Braudel was France's foremost post-war historian. He is best known for The Mediterranean in the Age of Philip II, Civilization and Capitalism and The Identity of France. Richard Mayne is a renowned translator of French. His other translations include Monet's Memoirs.


The late historian Braudel ( The Perspective of the World, LJ 10/15/84) was a leader of the French ``Annales'' school of historiography, which emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to history while deemphasizing the study of individual personalities and events. This work was written in 1962 to be used as a text in the French secondary school system. It was ostensibly rejected as being too difficult for students, but the real reason may have been that it lacked a Western bias; non-Western and Western civilizations are given equal emphasis. Though it is not error-free--witness the statement that has Ptolemy ruling Macedonia rather than Egypt--this work is a broad survey that attempts to understand the character and continuity of civilizations on a global scale. It can be seen as a precursor to the multicultural approach to studies that is in vogue today. Highly recommended.-- Robert J. Andrews, Duluth P . L . , Minn.

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