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The Theft of History

In The Theft of History Jack Goody builds on his own previous work to extend further his highly influential critique of what he sees as the pervasive Eurocentric or occidentalist biases of so much western historical writing and the consequent 'theft' by the West of the achievements of other cultures in the invention of (notably) democracy, capitalism, individualism and love. Goody, one of the world's most distinguished anthropologists, raises questions about theorists, historians and methodology and proposes a new comparative approach to cross-cultural analysis which allows for more scope in examining history than an East versus West style.
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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I: 1. Who stole what? Time and space; 2. Antiquity: no markets, but did they invent politics, freedom and the alphabet?; 3. Feudalism: transition to capitalism or the collapse of Europe and the domination of Asia; 4. Asiatic despots, in Turkey and elsewhere?; Part II: 5. Science and civilization in Renaissance Europe; 6. The theft of 'civilization': Elias and Absolutist Europe; 7. The theft of 'capitalism': Braudel and global comparison; Part III: 8. The theft of institutions, towns and universities; 9. The appropriation of values: humanism, democracy and individualism; 10. Stolen love: European claims to the emotions; 11. Last words; Bibliography.


"The book will be welcomed to graduate seminars or to advanced classes in the historiography of world history." -- Jared Poley "World History Bulletin" "In his broad and sweeping new book...the prolific Jack Goody once again endorses revisionist arguments and takes issue with Eurocentric historical narratives on two important registers." -- Ajay Skaria "Journal of Modern History"

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