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The Theft of History

The Theft of History


  • Date Published: January 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521870696


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About the Authors
  • Professor 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. Goody also examines the consequent 'theft' by the West of the achievements of other cultures in the invention of (notably) democracy, capitalism, individualism, and love. The Theft of History discusses a number of theorists in detail, including Marx, Weber and Norbert Elias, and engages with critical admiration western historians like Fernand Braudel, Moses Finlay and Perry Anderson. Major questions of method are raised, and Goody proposes a new comparative methodology for cross-cultural analysis, one that gives a much more sophisticated basis for assessing divergent historical outcomes, and replaces outmoded simple differences between East and West. The Theft of History will be read by an unusually wide audience of historians, anthropologists and social theorists.

    • A major new statement from one of the world's leading social scientists
    • Engages with some of the great thinkers of our time
    • Highly accessible essay from a distinguished and provocative author
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Goody identifies an academic audience that reflects the broad territory he has explored in the course of a very long and productive career … The sophistication of the design and manufacture of the Antikythera mechanism, unparalleled in museum collections, independently endorses Goody's contention that big gaps in the archaeological and documentary records seriously affect our understanding.' Journal of Contemporary History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2007
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521870696
    • length: 356 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 155 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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

  • Author

    Jack Goody, University of Cambridge
    Jack Goody is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John's College. Recently knighted by Her Majesty The Queen for services to anthropology, Professor Goody has researched and taught all over the world, is a Fellow of the British Academy and in 1980 was made a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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