In this study Clive Gamble presents and questions two of the most famous descriptions of change in prehistory. The first is the 'human revolution', when evidence for art, music, religion and language first appears. The second is the economic and social revolution of the Neolithic period. Gamble identifies the historical agendas behind 'origins research' and presents a bold alternative to these established frameworks, relating the study of change to the material basis of human identity. He examines, through artefact proxies, how changing identities can be understood using embodied material metaphors and in two major case-studies charts the prehistory of innovations, asking, did agriculture really change the social world? This is an important and challenging book that will be essential reading for every student and scholar of prehistory.
Since the first edition of this book appeared in 1982, El Salvador has experienced the most radical social change in its history. Ten years of civil war, in which a tenacious and creative revolutionary movement battled a larger, better-equipped, US-supported army to a standstill, have ended with 20 months of negotiations and a peace accord that promises to change the course of Salvadorean society and politics. This book traces the history of El Salvador, focusing on the oligarchy and the armed forces, that shaped the Salvadorean army and political system. Concentrating on the period since 1960, the author sheds new light on the US role in the increasing militarization of the country and the origins of the oligarchy-army rupture in 1979. Separate chapters deal with the Catholic church and the revolutionary organizations, which challenged the status quo after 1968. In the new edition, Dr Montgomery continues the story from 1982 to the present, offering a detailed account of the evolution of the war. She examines why Duarte's two inaugural promises, peace and economic prosperity could not be fulfilled and analyzes the electoral victory of the oligarchy in 1989. The final chapters closely follow the peace negotiations, ending with an assessment of the peace accords, and evaluate the future prospects for El Salvador and for the 1994 elections.
This masterful comparative history traces the West’s revolutionary tradition and its culmination in the Communist revolutions of the twentieth century. Unique in breadth and scope, History’s Locomotives offers a new interpretation of the origins and history of socialism as well as the meanings of the Russian Revolution, the rise of the Soviet regime, and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union. History’s Locomotives is the masterwork of an esteemed historian in whom a fine sense of historical particularity never interfered with the ability to see the large picture. Martin Malia explores religious conflicts in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe, the revolutions in England, American, and France, and the twentieth-century Russian explosions into revolution. He concludes that twentieth-century revolutions have deep roots in European history and that revolutionary thought and action underwent a process of radicalization from one great revolution to the next. Malia offers an original view of the phenomenon of revolution and a fascinating assessment of its power as a driving force in history.
Democracy, free thought and expression, religious tolerance, individual liberty, political self-determination of peoples, sexual and racial equality--these values have firmly entered the mainstream in the decades since they were enshrined in the 1948 U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. But if these ideals no longer seem radical today, their origin was very radical indeed--far more so than most historians have been willing to recognize. In A Revolution of the Mind, Jonathan Israel, one of the world's leading historians of the Enlightenment, traces the philosophical roots of these ideas to what were the least respectable strata of Enlightenment thought--what he calls the Radical Enlightenment. Originating as a clandestine movement of ideas that was almost entirely hidden from public view during its earliest phase, the Radical Enlightenment matured in opposition to the moderate mainstream Enlightenment dominant in Europe and America in the eighteenth century. During the revolutionary decades of the 1770s, 1780s, and 1790s, the Radical Enlightenment burst into the open, only to provoke a long and bitter backlash. A Revolution of the Mind shows that this vigorous opposition was mainly due to the powerful impulses in society to defend the principles of monarchy, aristocracy, empire, and racial hierarchy--principles linked to the upholding of censorship, church authority, social inequality, racial segregation, religious discrimination, and far-reaching privilege for ruling groups. In telling this fascinating history, A Revolution of the Mind reveals the surprising origin of our most cherished values--and helps explain why in certain circles they are frequently disapproved of and attacked even today.
State structures, international forces, and class relations: Theda Skocpol shows how all three combine to explain the origins and accomplishments of social-revolutionary transformations. Social revolutions have been rare but undeniably of enormous importance in modern world history. States and Social Revolutions provides a new frame of reference for analyzing the causes, the conflicts, and the outcomes of such revolutions. It develops a rigorous, comparative historical analysis of three major cases: the French Revolution of 1787 through the early 1800s, the Russian Revolution of 1917 through the 1930s, and the Chinese Revolution of 1911 through the 1960s. Believing that existing theories of revolution, both Marxist and non-Marxist, are inadequate to explain the actual historical patterns of revolutions, Skocpol urges us to adopt fresh perspectives. Above all, she maintains that states conceived as administrative and coercive organizations potentially autonomous from class controls and interests must be made central to explanations of revolutions.
Neil Davidson explores classic themes of nation, state, and revolution in this collection of essays. Ranging from the extent to which nationalism can be a component of led-wing politics to the difference between bourgeois and socialist revolutions, the book concludes with an extended discussion of the different meanings history has for conservatives, radicals, and Marxists.
Rise of the Red Engineers explains the tumultuous origins of the class of technocratic officials who rule China today. In a fascinating account, author Joel Andreas chronicles how two mutually hostile groups—the poorly educated peasant revolutionaries who seized power in 1949 and China's old educated elite—coalesced to form a new dominant class. After dispossessing the country's propertied classes, Mao and the Communist Party took radical measures to eliminate class distinctions based on education, aggravating antagonisms between the new political and old cultural elites. Ultimately, however, Mao's attacks on both groups during the Cultural Revolution spurred inter-elite unity, paving the way—after his death—for the consolidation of a new class that combined their political and cultural resources. This story is told through a case study of Tsinghua University, which—as China's premier school of technology—was at the epicenter of these conflicts and became the party's preferred training ground for technocrats, including many of China's current leaders.
The successful 1776 revolt against British rule in North America has been hailed almost universally as a great step forward for humanity. But the Africans then living in the colonies overwhelmingly sided with the British. In this trailblazing book, Gerald Horne shows that in the prelude to 1776, the abolition of slavery seemed all but inevitable in London, delighting Africans as much as it outraged slaveholders, and sparking the colonial revolt. Prior to 1776, anti-slavery sentiments were deepening throughout Britain and in the Caribbean, rebellious Africans were in revolt. For European colonists in America, the major threat to their security was a foreign invasion combined with an insurrection of the enslaved. It was a real and threatening possibility that London would impose abolition throughout the colonies—a possibility the founding fathers feared would bring slave rebellions to their shores. To forestall it, they went to war. The so-called Revolutionary War, Horne writes, was in part a counter-revolution, a conservative movement that the founding fathers fought in order to preserve their right to enslave others. The Counter-Revolution of 1776 brings us to a radical new understanding of the traditional heroic creation myth of the United States.
In a study that compares the major attempts at genocide in world history, Robert Melson creates a sophisticated framework that links genocide to revolution and war. He focuses on the plights of Jews after the fall of Imperial Germany and of Armenians after the fall of the Ottoman as well as attempted genocides in the Soviet Union and Cambodia. He argues that genocide often is the end result of a complex process that starts when revolutionaries smash an old regime and, in its wake, try to construct a society that is pure according to ideological standards.
A group of respected historians confront the conservative, revisionist trends in historical enquiry that have been dominant in the last twenty years.
The "age of the democratic revolution" 1 in the Dutch Republic cul minated in two revolutions : the aborted Patriot Revolution of 1787 and the more successful Batavian Revolution of 1795. For the United Provinces that age had begun after a series of crises in 1747 and resulted in the un precedented establishment of a single individual in the office of chief executive in all of the component provinces. The new form which emerged from the foreign and domestic threats of midcentury was that of a hereditary Stadhouder in the House of Orange. That family had served the Dutch state in varying capacities and with disparate consequences from its inception in the Revolt of the sixteenth century, through the triumphs of the Golden Era, to the less glorious days of the Periwig Period. The accession of William IV in 1747, his early death followed by a lengthy regency from 1752, and the accession of his son, William V, as "eminent head" of each province and chief officer of the Generality in 1766, all brought forth renewed scrutiny of the family and the offices of the Princes of Orange in the political life of the Republic. Those who were most critical of the new powers of the Stadhouderate and most desirous of reducing the dangers they saw threatening the state from the aggrandizement of that office, came to usurp the nearly exclusive use of the hoary title of Patriot.
Now in a revised and updated edition with added original chapters, this acclaimed book provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the complex links between revolutionary struggles and human rights. Covering events as far removed from one another as the English Civil War, the Parisian upheavals of 1789, Latin American independence struggles, and protests in late twentieth-century China, the contributors explore the paradoxes of revolutions that have both helped spur new advances in thinking about human rights and produced regimes that commit a range of abuses. Exploring the changes over time in conceptions of human rights in Western and non-Western contexts, this work offers a unique window into the history of the modern world and a fresh context for understanding today's pressing issues.
From its independence from Spain in 1898 until the 1960s, Cuba was dominated by the political and economic presence of the United States. Benjamin studies this unequal relationship through 1934, by examining U.S. trade, investment, and capital lending; Cuban institutions and social movements; and U.S. foreign policy. Benjamin convincingly argues that U.S. hegemony shaped Cuban internal politics by exploiting the island's economy, dividing the nationalist movement, co-opting Cuban moderates, and robbing post-1933 leadership of its legitimacy.
Revolution within a state almost invariably leads to intense security competition between states, and often to war. In Revolution and War, Stephen M. Walt explains why this is so, and suggests how the risk of conflicts brought on by domestic upheaval might be reduced in the future. In doing so, he explores one of the basic questions of international relations: What are the connections between domestic politics and foreign policy? Walt begins by exposing the flaws in existing theories about the relationship between revolution and war. Drawing on the theoretical literature about revolution and the realist perspective on international politics, he argues that revolutions cause wars by altering the balance of threats between a revolutionary state and its rivals. Each state sees the other as both a looming danger and a vulnerable adversary, making war seem both necessary and attractive. Walt traces the dynamics of this argument through detailed studies of the French, Russian, and Iranian revolutions, and through briefer treatment of the American, Mexican, Turkish, and Chinese cases. He also considers the experience of the Soviet Union, whose revolutionary transformation led to conflict within the former Soviet empire but not with the outside world. An important refinement of realist approaches to international politics, this book unites the study of revolution with scholarship on the causes of war.
"An Introduction to the History of Communication: Evolutions and Revolutions provides a comprehensive overview of how human communication has changed and is changing. Focusing on the evolutions and revolutions of six key changes in the history of communication---becoming human; creating writing; developing print; capturing the image; harnessing electricity; and exploring cybernetics---the author reveals how communication was generated, stored, and shared. This ecological approach provides a comprehensive understanding of the key variables that underlie each of these great evolutions-revolutions in human communication. Designed as an introduction for history of communication classes, the text examines the past, attempting to identify the key dynamics of change in these human, technical, semiotic, social, political, economic, and cultural structures, in order to better understand the present and prepare for possible future developments."--BOOK JACKET.
In this stimulating study, Juan R. I. Cole challenges traditional elite-centered conceptions of the conflict that led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882. For a year before the British intervened, Egypt's government and the country's influential European community had been locked in a struggle with the nationalist supporters of General Ahmad 'Urabi. Although most Western observers still see the 'Urabi movement as a 'revolt' of junior military officers with only limited support among the Egyptian people, Cole maintains that it was a full-scale revolution with a broad social base. While arguing this fresh point of view, he also proposes a theory of revolution against informal or neocolonial empires, drawing parallels between Egypt in 1882, the early twentieth-century Boxer Rebellion in China, and the Islamic Revolution in modern Iran. In a thorough examination of the changing Egyptian political culture from 1858 through the 'Urabi episode, Cole shows how various social strata--urban guilds, the intelligentsia, and village notables--became 'revolutionary.' Addressing issues raised by such scholars as Barrington Moore and Theda Skocpol, his book combines four complementary approaches: social structure and its socioeconomic context, organization, ideology, and the ways in which unexpected conjunctures of events help drive a revolution. "The resulting account of the origins of the 1881-82 revolution is original and persuasive. The book will make a significant contribution to the comparative study of social revolution, in particular by explaining how neocolonial revolutions differ from the kinds of revolution previous theorists have studied." --Timothy P. Mitchell, New York University
A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.

Best Books