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The Story of Civilization: Part 1 Our Oriental Heritage
The Story of Civilization Part 1 Our Oriental Heritage Author:Will Durant *Our Oriental Heritage* is actually four books in one (or five, if you include the opening ninety-page essay on the nature of civilization): the first one deals with the Near East - Sumeria, Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, Judea and Persia - from the fourth millenium to the third century B.C.; the second, with India from the Vedas to Gandhi, who was ... more »then still alive and, well, maybe not kicking; the third, with China from the "Age of the Philosophers" to Sun Yat Sen; and the fourth, with Japan from its mythical Shinto birth to the invasion of Manchuria.
The organization of the book is more thematic than chronological. Though Durant does divide the histories of the various civilizations into periods and tries to follow their evolution, he limits himself to well-chosen historical highlights, seeking rather to understand the soul of each civilization by an analysis of its major cultural achievements. His focus is always on the big picture: as the title indicates, he is trying to assess the contribution of each major civilization to the progress of the human species.« less