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Macrohistory and Macrohistorians: Perspectives on Individual, Social, and Civilizational Change [Hardcover]

Johan Galtung , Sohail Inayatullah
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 30, 1997 0275957551 978-0275957551

This dazzlingly original collaboration between two international authors focuses on 20 macrohistorians—that is to say, historians who have helped shape our entire way of conceiving ourselves—from Ssu-Ma Ch'ien and Ibn Khaldun to Oswald Spengler and Marx and Piritim Sorokin and Arnold Toynbee. The authors move toward a general theory of grand social change based on the writings of these macrohistorians and provide a comparative view of macrohistory and sociology.

The book brings a cross-cultural and transhistorical perspective to the study of social change, analyzing macrohistorians and macrohistory comparatively and synthetically, from the traditional linear-cyclical divide as well as including broader transcendental and feminist approaches. Like a road map par excellence for the study of civilizational change, the book captures the panoramic sweep of history and helps readers learn to appreciate, and henceforth include in the circle of greats, those non-Western thinkers whose work they may until now have neglected.^L ^L Johan Galtung, Sohail Inayatullah, and the other contributors to ^IMacrohistory and Macrohistorians^R demonstrate that each generation may give new perspectives to ideas that we thought we understood. The book covers the vital perspective out of which the 21st century emerges, and in the cases of Sorokin, Toynbee, and Eisler, deals with theories directly bearing on the potential shape of the next thousand years. It brings a cross-cultural and transhistorical perspective to the study of social change and will be of considerable interest to historians and sociologists as well as students of philosophy, historiography, and political science.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Richly eclectic, [this book] is an indispensible addition to the historical, sociological, peace and futures literature. It invites dialogue on our ways of knowing about social change, historical dynamics, and violent and non-violent futures. Drawing on the writings of macro or "big-picture" histories, it offers fascinating insights about various civilizational traditions and theorizing about social change processes. It highlights the limitations of Western-centric claims to correctly know the patternings of history whilst raising the challenge of moving beyond hard deterministic thinking."-Francis P. Hutchenson Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Social Inquiry University of Western Sydney, Australia Author, Educating Beyond Violent Futures

Book Description

Galtung and Inayatullah focus on macrohistorians—those historians, from Ibn Khaldun to Oswald Spengler and from Piritim Sorokin to Arnold Toynbee—who have helped shape our way of conceiving of ourselves.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (September 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275957551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275957551
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,215,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book not to ignore October 6, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Macrohistory is the study of history itself. While the historian tries to understand events and processes in a chronological order, the macrohistorian stands back and tries to find a pattern in the histories of civilizations. Macrohistory is not a summary of histories; nor is it a vast collection of detailed histories of countries, periods or civilizations. It is an abstraction from such histories. Its focus is on the way civilizational units behave over time. As such, it is a challenging, deeply philosophical and, of course, theory-ridden enterprise. Indeed, for those with a bias for empirical evidence, many of the abstract laws or patterns detected by macrohistorians would not be valid because they refer to the future which, they would reason, need not be conditioned in ways the macrohistorian predicts. And yet, despite these limitations, some of the world's most original minds have turned to macrohistorical theorising. Johan Galtung and Sohail Inayatullah, both well known scholars in many fields, have now brought together twenty important macrohistorians in this book. The selected macrohistorians are as follows: Ssu-Ma Ch'ien (145-190? B.C) Augustine (354-430); Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406); Giambattista Vico (1668-1744); Adam Smith (1723-1790); Hegel (1770-1831); Auguste Comte (1798-1857); Karl Marx (1818-1883); Spencer (1820-1903); Pareto (1848-1923); Weber (1864-1920); Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925); Spengler (1880-1936); Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955); Pitirim Sorokin (1889-1968); Toynbee (1889-1975); Gramsci (1891-1937); P. Rainjan Sarkar (1921-1990) Riane Eisler (b.1931) and James Lovelock. `It is not possible even to give a brief summary of the major theories of these macrohistorians in this review. Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars indispensable .. richly eclectic November 4, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Richly eclectic, Macrohistory and Macrohistorians is an indispensable addition to the historical, sociological, peace and futures literature. It invites dialogue on our ways of knowing about social change, historical dynamics and violent and non-violent futures. Drawing on the writings of macro or big-picture histories, it offers fascinating insights about various civilizational traditions and theorizing about social change processes. It highlights the limitations of Western-centric claims to correctly know the patterns of history whilst raising the challenge of moving beyond hard deterministic thinking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A coherent and rare guide to big picture thinking October 6, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Macrohistory and Macrohistorians is a rich exploration of patterns in history through the works of twenty macrohistorians from a variety of cultures and eras. The book is particularly valuable for the way it synthesizes the contributions of each and includes interpretative chapters that explore their significance. This is a coherent and rare guide to big picture thinking and hence essential groundwork to underpin the long view ahead. A magnificent achievement
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic September 22, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Remarkable ... The best think of its sort I've ever seen and destined to become the classic reference in history and futures studies.
David Loye, Board of Editors, World Futures.
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