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Five Epochs of Civilization: World History as Emerging in Five Civilizations Paperback – February, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0960563036 ISBN-10: 0960563032 Edition: illustrated edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Those who seriously regard the study of history as a social "science" often feel compelled to discover patterns or forces or dialectic that can explain the myriad of human experiences. McGaughey has not been trained as a professional historian; after graduating from Yale in 1994, he worked as an accountant while writing several books on economics and world trade. Still, he displays a competent grasp of the basic events and mass movements that changed the way millions have lived. He presents the last five millennia as a playing out of five epochs through which virtually all world civilizations must progress; these include such epochs as the age of military empires, the age of world religions, and the emerging age of computer technology. McGaughey writes with a refreshing, nonpedantic, and breezy style. While he often strains to fit square pegs into round holes in support of his thesis, he often convincingly points out common strands that have united disparate societies. This should be an enjoyable but not necessarily convincing work for general readers. Jay Freeman


"...will prove to be of immense interest to students of history as it moves beond traditional ethnocentric histories..." -- Midwest Book Review, Jan. 2000

...presents history in a unique way, building on the work of Spengler and Toynbee. It will change your understanding of history... -- Alan Caruba,, Jan. 2000

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Product Details

More About the Author

William McGaughey is a Minneapolis-based writer who has published seven print books, created ten web sites, and published a fast-growing list of e-books under the auspices of Thistlerose Publications. His writing career first took off in a 1981 book intended to support shorter-workweek legislation. In 1989, he collaborated with Sen. Eugene McCarthy on another book on the same subject. McGaughey has also published a book, Five Epochs of Civilization, that presented a new scheme of organizing world history. It was favorably reviewed in Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan) and Xin Hua Book Studies (Beijing, China), among other places. His Rhythm and Self-Consciousness, published in 2001 explored the philosophical implications of moving from a print culture to one based on electronic images. In the first decade of the 21st century, McGaughey made several unsuccessful bids for elective office, producing print or web-based narratives of those adventures. He finished fifth among seven candidates in Louisiana's 2004 Democratic presidential primary with 3,100 votes and, in 2008, received 22,300 votes as a third-party (Independence Party) candidate for Congress in Minnesota's Fifth District. Career-wise, McGaughey has worked as an accountant in the public and private sectors. He owns and operates an extensive web site at

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