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Conquests and Cultures: An International History Paperback – April 30, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"Culture" triumphs if it is sustainable and based on a credible concept that can be embraced by others. Other "cultures" fail or disappear when they are conquered by more dominant cultures or collapse from within due to a fundamental weakness or failure to transmit the culture across people and generations.
Much like David Landes' "Wealth and poverty of nations", Sowell shows that societies or cultures that can produce things of value, that educate their young, that innovate, and that encourage personal freedom, initiative, private ownership and advancement based on merit, these cultures are more likely to survive.
Sowell dispels myths about racism, diversity and the equality of all cultures. His research is encyclopedic and well-documented.
An excellent book for a university course on culture, diversity and global development.
Essentially, it does the job of filling in some of the details about what happened after some of the conquests of one group by another. It was not a text that evaluated whether conquests were "good" or "bad," but about the actual results of what happened. For example: He details at some length the differing responses to colonization of Irish and Scottish people (the former didn't take to it well while the latter did). This is something that goes a long way to explaining why Ireland became a separate country and Scotland stayed part of the Kingdom.
It was well worth reading because it gave CONCRETE information about what actually happened in many of these cases rather than babbling about "colonial powers" or "rights of self determination."
Unlike several of the prior reviewers, who seem to feel that their unworkable personal ideology or limited ability to think actually have relevance in a review, I read this book to gain information and insights supported by impeccable research from an intelligent source. It may offend those with little or no education or experience, because it does not run along the same track as their favorite hobby horse(s), but then, reality and truth rarely do. (i.e., if you don't like accurate statistics, nor agree with a sequenced and relevant protrayal of factual information, don't read this book. It might upset any sense of "oughta be this way", or "I wanna believe X -- in contrast to actual events").
Dr. Sowell's insistence on his statements having a factual basis and extensive examples to support his conclusions can be daunting, nonetheless, as with any exercise (mental or physical, for that matter), the more effort you put into something, the greater the result.
Highly recommended, as are all of his books.
One is that the geography of a country has a strong effect on its history. The western hemisphere did not have beasts of burden until Europeans arrived and therefore stayed in a primitive culture. England had iron ore near coal and both near the seacoast which provided cheap transportation.
Another thread is that some cultures learn from contact with other cultures and some do not. Scotland was invaded by England and when the English left Scotland outclassed the English in engineering and medicine even thought they were behind in the beginning. Earlier the Romans invaded England and improved conditions. When the Romans left the English retrograded for centuries.
Another thread is that human nature is the same all over the earth. All nations have dominated other nations and mistreated them.
As usual Sowell writes another well-crafted, researched, and documented book. He makes NO conclusions but rather, lets his reader form their own conclusions.
As evidenced by the fact that none of the so called "Politically Incorrect" panel shows NEVER invited Sowell on because no one on the left can counter Sowell's ease of analysis and myth-shattering and that includes lofty lefties like Hitchens, Chomsky, Schlesinger, and Cockburn...so goes the list of those who rail at the idea of a free-thinking minority having the audacity to stray from the Liberal Plantation (Not that Sowell was ever on the plantation in the first place).
A good measured read with plenty to challenge the reader (who doesn't wear idealogical blinders). A good book to add to your library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book by the good Doctor. Not a light read but chock full of goodies and worth the time. Discloses the ignorance surrounding the "Slave" issues and the... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Davidg1218
Thomas Sowell is arguably one of the leading intellectuals of our time, throughout the years, he has written a number of books on a variety of subjects ranging from political to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by D-Fay
Dr Sowell compiled these three "and Culture" several years ago and the wisdom contained within them explains a lot of the current events playing out on the world stage... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Clancy52
Deep insights for the current migrant crisis, as well as today's debates about colonization. Learn the backstory of today's conflicts. Packed with facts, but well written.Published 10 months ago by Lauri Przybysz
Thomas Sowell. What more can you say? Always informative and valid.Published 14 months ago by Todd Wyatt
Outstanding book. Thomas Sowell eloquently explains the clear benefits that conquests have brought to civilization. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Pythagoras
Sowell, in Conquests and Cultures, helps explain the role of cultural evolution, warfare, and geography in shaping the destinies of the world's civilizations. Very interesting.Published 18 months ago by Steve NC
Sowell does a tour de force of the human history of the populated continents showing how climate, land forms, religious beliefs, and chance influenced the way human societies... Read morePublished 20 months ago by J. Denning