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The Paths of History [Hardcover]

Igor M. Diakonoff , Geoffrey Hosking
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

September 28, 1999 0521643481 978-0521643481
This is a broad and ambitious study of the entire history of humanity that takes as its point of departure Marx's theory of social evolution. Professor Diakonoff's theory of world history differs from Marx's in a number of ways. First, he has expanded Marx's five stages of development to eight. Second, he denies that social evolution necessarily implies progress and shows how "each progress is simultaneously a regress," and third, he demonstrates that the transition from one stage to another is not necessarily marked by social conflict and that sometimes this is achieved peacefully and gracefully. As the book moves through these various stages, the reader is drawn into a remarkable and thought-provoking study of the process of the history of the human race that focuses on the wide range of factors (economic, social, military-technological, and socio-pyschological) that have influenced our development from palaeolithic times to the present day.

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Igor Diakonoff's The Paths of History is a remarkable survey of world history by a Russian orientalist, using a Marxist interpretation as a point of departure." Eric Hobsbawm, New Statesman & Society

"...this is an important book...[I] would expect Diakonoff's work to provide the starting-point for lively discussion and research. First of all we need an English translation." Times Literary Supplement

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (September 28, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521643481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521643481
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,781,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complementary readings August 8, 2009
Format:Paperback
I was surprised that no one else had made a comment before to this work. Although the subject is very interesting, because of the author's style, the book, without being dry, is not engaging. So my rate is between 5 (content) and 3 (pleasure). Anyhow, I will also suggest reading the following works (all of them interesting works dealing somehow with war, the state or empires) in addition to Diakonoff's peculiar book: 1) "War in Human Civilization" by Azar Gat (war explained, not just narrated); 2) "War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires" (easy and interesting to read); 3) "Understanding Early Civilizations" by Bruce Trigger (a great comparative review of early civilizations but dry); 4) "History of Government" by S.E. Finer (masterful work); and 5) Political Thought: 5.1. and 5.2: "The West and Islam. Religion and Political Thought in World History" plus "A World History of Ancient Political Thought" by Antony Black (both of them splendid books on comparative political ideas of different civilizations).
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