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Book Title: The Theft of History|
Date of issue: February 1st 2007
ISBN 13: 9780521870696
The author of the book: Jack Goody
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 395 KB
Edition: Cambridge University Press
Read full description of the books The Theft of History: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.
Read information about the authorSir John (Jack) Rankine Goody (born 27 July 1919) is a British social anthropologist. He has been a prominent teacher at Cambridge University, he was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 1976, and he is an associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. Among his main publications are Death, property and the ancestors (1962), The myth of the Bagre (1972) and The domestication of the savage mind.
Jack Goody explained social structure and social change primarily in terms of three major factors. The first was the development of intensive forms of agriculture that allowed for the accumulation of surplus – surplus explained many aspects of cultural practice from marriage to funerals as well as the great divide between African and Eurasian societies. Second, he explained social change in terms of urbanization and growth of bureaucratic institutions that modified or overrode traditional forms of social organization, such as family or tribe, identifying civilization as “the culture of cities”. And third, he attached great weight to the technologies of communication as instruments of psychological and social change. He associated the beginnings of writing with the task of managing surplus and, in an important paper with Ian Watt (Goody and Watt, 1963), he advanced the argument that the rise of science and philosophy in classical Greece depended importantly on their invention of an efficient writing system, the alphabet. Because these factors could be applied to either to any contemporary social system or to systematic changes over time, his work is equally relevant to many disciplines.
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