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Good books on world history

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  • ballisticz
    replied
    Originally posted by Ifbbita View Post
    The Use and Abuse of History - Nietzsche
    Was Nietzsche an Odinist? I've heard the name but can't remember where..

    Leave a comment:


  • | K Y L E |
    replied
    Karl Marx's The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte is certainly a must read.

    For a serious analysis of modern China, look for the work of professor Maurice Meisner e.g. Mao's China: A History of the People's Republic and Mao Zedong: A Political and Intellectual Portrait.

    On the Soviet Union, look for historians like J.A. Getty (e.g.The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks and Origins of the Great Purges: The Soviet Communist Party Reconsidered) and Robert W. Thurston (Life and Terror in Stalin's Russia, and as an editor, The People's War: Responses to World War II in the Soviet Union).
    Last edited by | K Y L E |; 05-27-2008, 06:28 PM.

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  • Ifbbita
    replied
    The Use and Abuse of History - Nietzsche
    Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse
    Satanism and Witchcraft - Jules Michelet
    History of the French Revolution - Jules Michelet
    History of France - Jules Michelet

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  • SlamboS
    replied
    To me, history has more to do with the world today than it does with the past. It seems like writing history consists of choosing historical facts and ordering them into a narrative. History is always told like a story, and the facts are the concrete bits of information, the author and your mind fill in the rest and come to a conclusion.

    I am not in any way an authority on history - but it seems like one should read about the philosophy of history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_history) while reading about history itself. I think that's one of the best ways to begin to get a perspective on the facts you read. Authors like Foucault deal with this topic in challenging and fascinating ways. History has first to do with today - what is important today dictates what facts you pull from the past and what stories you tell. It's always about trying to answer what we should do today, or 'are we metaphorically at another point in history?' It has been said by some that the United States has in some sense gone back to the end of World War 2, some say the beginning of WW2. It's a different world today, they say - and to gague that difference they use HISTORY. So is history objective? It's both a yes and a no, you can say all true facts, but removing the lens (the narrative) that lets you see the story as a coherent whole... taking off the lens may be impossible. There is always a lens. What's your lens? I have a lens that reads classical liberalism into everything. And it doesn't mean I'm doing anything wrong... you can't have no lens at all.

    So to learn about history I think it would be best to read both history books and books on the philosophy of history, those that ask what history means and what importance it should be given.

    I once had a teacher that said you can learn more about a society by reading its literature than by reading its history. Maybe in some senses there is more 'objectivity' in reading it that way, even if you are reading a work of fiction. People thought different, the world was different - even if you read a fiction book with gigantic characters, those characters are always contrasted with what was the world of the day, the logic of the day. You can see a lot about how people thought and how people were. It might be better to read Tolstoy than it would be an english-language book on Russian history.

    I don't have any great books on history, there isn't one that I'd pick as the definite history. It's interesting to read stuff like Foucault's History of Sexuality... it's a different kind of history book. The people's history of the United States is a very good book, and is what it is because of its stark contrast with the version of history you are taught in school. It like anything else is written for a reason. And if you aren't from America, it might be very interesting to read everything that's left out of the department of education's curriculum. The bad things happening to the people in the US, are so important because they show the glaring arrogance that is its opposite.

    I'm also very interested in the world history from an economic point of view. I have read many things about it but again it's hard to just cite a specific book in any kind of neutral way.
    Last edited by SlamboS; 05-25-2008, 10:07 AM.

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  • TheMan
    replied
    Originally posted by Aristocrat View Post
    It's an interesting take on civilization or the development of technology rather than general history, as much as the subjects overlap. But presenting this book as unbiased has to be a joke on your part.

    Jared is honest though, as he openly states that his belief is that the formations of cultures, institutions and forms of government is secondary at best to geography and other related factors, and seems to formulate his theories around that. He brings up the subject of people being superior or inferior to each other, and then dismisses that notion as his starting point. But this is like asking the question of whether or not people are good or evil.

    He assumes that if the starting conditions are identical then the civilizations that develops there will be more or less identical, it is because when he dismisses inequality he also seems to assume that people are identical, which I think is just taking the politically correct “intellectually lazy” route to a simple answer to the question of material equality. People are different, physically and mentally. Just as people have a common traits (skin tone, shape of nose or hair texture) they would include mental traits that are common for each group, and they form the group mentality on the aggregated level and can play a huge significant role in how a society branches off from others.

    But if he would acknowledge that he would have to tread into the more complex dimension of economic history, which involves how Europe developed economic systems in order to gain ground on the economic rival China etc. and that would assume that culture and intellectual effort of individuals plays a larger part than he is willing to admit.

    So generally he focus on small, albeit important, factor to why some have and others have not. But if you are to read one book of world history this isn’t it, because this is an extremely biased and single sided version of history, consciously so, for it is usually overlooked in these discussions.

    In that way this is another IQ and the Wealth of Nations, taking one factor and trying to say that it is almost the end all be all of why human development happened as it did. Neither gives you a accurate description, I try to look at the ideas the different sides offer.
    ...hell of a post...



    howard zinn peoples history of u..s..a..

    Leave a comment:


  • Aristocrat
    replied
    Originally posted by Drunk Monkey View Post
    Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond...
    Its a Pulltzer prize winning book i've personally read; and the shit is brilliant...
    He lays it all out in the book...
    If you've ever wondered why Incans were conquered by Spaniards rather than vice-versa; or how some native from New Guinea is more intelligent then most white Europeans......Its the book for you...
    Shit tackles a lot of human history concisely..
    It's an interesting take on civilization or the development of technology rather than general history, as much as the subjects overlap. But presenting this book as unbiased has to be a joke on your part.

    Jared is honest though, as he openly states that his belief is that the formations of cultures, institutions and forms of government is secondary at best to geography and other related factors, and seems to formulate his theories around that. He brings up the subject of people being superior or inferior to each other, and then dismisses that notion as his starting point. But this is like asking the question of whether or not people are good or evil.

    He assumes that if the starting conditions are identical then the civilizations that develops there will be more or less identical, it is because when he dismisses inequality he also seems to assume that people are identical, which I think is just taking the politically correct “intellectually lazy” route to a simple answer to the question of material equality. People are different, physically and mentally. Just as people have a common traits (skin tone, shape of nose or hair texture) they would include mental traits that are common for each group, and they form the group mentality on the aggregated level and can play a huge significant role in how a society branches off from others.

    But if he would acknowledge that he would have to tread into the more complex dimension of economic history, which involves how Europe developed economic systems in order to gain ground on the economic rival China etc. and that would assume that culture and intellectual effort of individuals plays a larger part than he is willing to admit.

    So generally he focus on small, albeit important, factor to why some have and others have not. But if you are to read one book of world history this isn’t it, because this is an extremely biased and single sided version of history, consciously so, for it is usually overlooked in these discussions.

    In that way this is another IQ and the Wealth of Nations, taking one factor and trying to say that it is almost the end all be all of why human development happened as it did. Neither gives you a accurate description, I try to look at the ideas the different sides offer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Drunk Monkey
    replied
    Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond...

    Its a Pulltzer prize winning book i've personally read; and the shit is brilliant...

    He lays it all out in the book...

    If you've ever wondered why Incans were conquered by Spaniards rather than vice-versa; or how some native from New Guinea is more intelligent then most white Europeans......Its the book for you...

    Shit tackles a lot of human history concisely..

    Leave a comment:


  • Leatha Face
    replied
    i was gonna wait for that to come out as a musical.

    basically i mean im looking for history books that are unbiased cause i saw many books on world history at barnes and noble but i wanted to know if anyone knows of any books that are soundly credible.

    Leave a comment:


  • franc34
    replied
    Mein Kampf

    Leave a comment:


  • Leatha Face
    started a topic Good books on world history

    Good books on world history

    i have many books on philosophy but i wanted to know if any one here would recommend a good book on world history or history pertaining to parts of the world.

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