- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; First American edition (March 27, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250000076
- ISBN-13: 978-1250000071
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 69 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization Hardcover – March 27, 2012
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“The lively mixture of topicality, politics, history, myth and culture in this anecdote is typical of Babylon at its best.” ―The Independent (UK)
“Historical detail gives authority to this tale of human misery and military magnificence.” ―The Times (UK)
“Eloquent and consistently thought-provoking account of ancient Mesopotamia.” ―Scotland on Sunday
“An outstanding survey of a civilization that endured against great odds but has now essentially vanished.” ―Booklist (starred) on Yiddish Civilisation
“A landmark book.” ―Library Journal on In Search of Zarathustra
“Lively and fast-paced.” ―Publishers Weekly on In Search of Zarathustra
About the Author
PAUL KRIWACZEK was born in Vienna. He travelled extensively in Asia and Africa before developing a career in broadcasting and journalist. In 1970, he joined the BBC full-time and wrote, produced, and directed for twenty-five years. He also served as head of Central Asian Affairs at the BBC World Service. He is the author of Yiddish Civilisation: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation, which was shortlisted for the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Award, as well as In Search of Zarathustra: The First Prophet and the Ideas that Changed the World.
Top customer reviews
This book is an excellent resource for its subject for anyone looking to lear n more about Mesopotamia and the great ebbing and flowing and rising and falling of the cultures who called it home.
He did rush through the latter part, the part on Assyria, and I thank God that he did. The character of Assyria does not fit with the over-all character of millennia of Mesopotamian history.
Overall, the story of Sumer, really over half the text of the book, was fascinating, as was the story of Babylon.
If you are looking for a book with lots of tales of titillating battles and military strategy, then this is definitely not the book for you. There is very little of that.
This book deals with archeological discoveries, some of them quite revealing and quite amazing, and with the philosophical and politically strategic patterns in history prior the "Story of the Greeks and Persians."
It discusses ancient Mesopotamian Law and sense of Justice, sociology and religious philosophy. It discussing what we know about these and more importantly, how we know.
It correlates the study to modern times, to Biblical Times and to relevant similar times throughout history.
One review of a book I read about Ancient Macedonia criticized that author's lack of "insight," because the reviewer did not feel that the author delved deeply enough into the underlying thought patterns of the time. No one would ever make such a charge against the author of this work. One such example is his analysis of the origins of modern day monotheism and religious misogyny that was partially borne in Assyria, and how, with the changing view of what the role of God was and what his relationship to humans is, it was inevitable (that discussion, the best part of the book, begins on page 225 if you are truly interested).
After this I started reading Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors by Nicholas Wade, which as a kind of fun thematic continuity to this one (birth of humanity vs. birth of civilization, with different approaches to the subject).