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Worlds at War [Audio]

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In the tradition of Jared Diamond and Jacques Barzun, prize-winning historian Anthony Pagden presents a sweeping history of the long struggle between East and West, from the Greeks to the present day. The relationship between East and West has always been one of turmoil. In this historical tour de force, a renowned historian leads us from the world of classical antiquity, through the Dark Ages, to the Crusades, Europe's resurgence, and the dominance of the Ottoman Empire, which almost shattered Europe entirely. Pagden travels from Napoleon in Egypt to Europe's carving up of the finally moribund Ottomans-creating the modern Middle East along the way-and on to the present struggles in Iraq. Throughout we learn a tremendous amount about what "East" and "West" were and are, and how it has always been competing worldviews and psychologies, more than religion or power grabs, that have fed the mistrust and violence between East and West. In Pagden's dark but provocative view, this struggle cannot help but go on.
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About the Author

Anthony Pagden is a professor in the history and political science departments at the University of California, Los Angeles and the author of Peoples and Empires. John Lee has read audiobooks in almost every conceivable genre, from Charles Dickens to Patrick O'Brian, and from the very real life of Napoleon to the entirely imagined lives of sorcerers and swashbucklers. An AudioFile Golden Voice narrator, he is the winner of numerous Audie Awards and AudioFile Earphones Awards.


In the pessimistic words of the ancient historian Herodotus, there will ever be "perpetual enmity" between the globe's two halves. Pagden (Peoples and Empires), a professor of political science and history at UCLA, tackles the immense sweep of 2,500 years of bad blood and seeks to explain the feud's continuing existence despite the increasing erosion of national differences. Does the trouble have geographical roots, or might it stem from religious differences? Pagden is convinced that in fact East and West are separated more by values and culture than by anything else-democratic vs. authoritarian rule, secular vs. theocratic and, later, Christian vs. Muslim. Though some readers might cavil at Pagden's reductionist assertion that religion has "caused more lasting harm to the human race than any other single set of beliefs," his book is an accessible and lucid exploration of the history of the East-West split, concluding with a nuanced look at the divisions and misapprehensions that continue to the present time. Fans of Jacques Barzun and Jared Diamond will be most impressed by Pagden's "big picture" perspective. (Mar. 4) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"[Narrator John Lee's] linguistic skill exemplifies how the comfort of a reader on an international sea of words can render an equivalent pleasure to the listener... [A] happy marriage of information and presentation." ---AudioFile

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