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The Triumph of the West Hardcover – September 1, 1986


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown & Co (T); 1st American ed edition (September 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316749893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316749893
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,343,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In 1900, "Western" and "civilized" seemed synonymous, with Western culture spreading over the globe and bringing progress everywhere. Eighty years later, there is an uneasy feeling that Western hegemony may have shot its bolt. In this companion volume to a BBC series, a distinguished British historian looks at the development of Western culture and its universal influence. Even resistance to the West, Roberts points out, usually takes forms borrowed from Western culture. At its core, he concludes, Western civilization is an audacious championship of humans as a unique, change-making species and of the value of the individual. Larger collections should purchase; worth considering for any general collection. Nancy C. Cridland, Indiana Univ. Libs., Bloomington
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

J.M. Roberts was educated at Taunton school and Keble College, Oxford. He has been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton and Warden of Merton College, Oxford. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David N. Reiss on January 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
J. M. Roberts is probably the best person writing popular histories in the world today. His "History of the World" and "A History of Europe" are more recent examples of his good writing skills.
But, this book is from earlier. It shows how good of a writer of history Roberts is. It is much more of an anylasis of what makes up Western Civilization, and what the author thinks is the reason it was able to fling itself outward at the world world, and basically subdue it all for a time. Sometimes which was basically umprecentented in the history of the world.
He critizes at times, but mainly he believes there is more good in Western Civilization than bad. Which, of course, is the truth.
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Bibliophile on February 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
William H. McNeill emphasizes the importance of cultural interchange in the rise and fall of great civilizations. I think Roberts goes wrong here when he neglects to point out the critical role played by the Mongols in disseminating Chinese technology to Europe - things such as the compass, paper, printing and gunpowder, which quickly enabled Europeans to circumnavigate and settle the globe.
Certainly both McNeill and Joseph Needham, the distinguished British historian of science, would dispute one of Roberts's main points: that Europe owed nothing to the rest of the world for its subsequent "triumph". At the very least Roberts presents a one-sided view.
Historically China has been the richest and the most powerful civilization in the world. The last few centuries saw the rise and dominance of Europeans, who not only created the scientific and industrial revolutions but who aggressively explored and settled the whole world. It remains to be seen whether China will be able to catch up. Even if it resumes its former position as the leading civilization, it remains a question whether it can reverse Western dominance everywhere. The sinologist John K. Fairbank despairs of this possibility. Others aren't so sure. Roberts himself has doubts about the "triumph" of the West; hence the chapters entitled "A Sense of Decline", and "A Post-Western World?"
I think we must be clear about what time-frame we're talking about when discussing what the future holds for world history. The triumph of the West is not likely to be a mere afterthought even two or three hundred years from now. But all bets are off if our time-frame is extended to over a thousand years.
What is a thousand years? Roberts's own analogy is excellent when discussing relative timespans in his "History of the World".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Enid Small on December 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
Having watched the TV series I bought the book, although I have the series on VHS, I would like to obtain a DVD set, does anyone know if the BBC released the series on DVD
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