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Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud (Anglais) Broché – 26 septembre 2006

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4,3 étoiles sur 5 59 commentaires provenant des USA

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Description du produit

Revue de presse

“This is a grand book...The history of ideas deserves treatment on this scale.” (Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Evening Standard (London))

“A superior specimen, with numerous interesting factoids...thought-provoking short essays.” (John Derbyshire, New York Sun)

“A masterpiece of historical writing.” (John Gray, Professor of European Thought, London School of Economics, New Statesman)

“[An] extraordinary new book....This is the history of ‘ideas’ as it has never been presented before.” (Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph (London))

Présentation de l'éditeur

Peter Watson's hugely ambitious and stimulating history of ideas from deep antiquity to the present day—from the invention of writing, mathematics, science, and philosophy to the rise of such concepts as the law, sacrifice, democracy, and the soul—offers an illuminated path to a greater understanding of our world and ourselves.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards)

Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5 59 commentaires
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting and thoughtful in parts, but overstuffed 17 décembre 2013
Par TRH - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The book is impressive -- both in scope and scholarship. There are a few places I know Watson made errors, for example, in explaining what an integral is in calculus and the earthly orbit, but given a work of this scope, some mistakes are inevitable and forgivable. I would have greatly preferred a topical organization (a chapter on mathematical ideas; one on geographical knowledge; political ideas; etc.) to his choice of a chronological organization. My biggest complaint, though, is that Watson essentially writes a series of three-paragraph biographies strung end-to-end when he really gets going. For example, the chapter on the Romantic movement starts out with some excellent, really insightful summarizing and contextualizing. Then follows: a mini-biography of Byron, Beethoven, Schubert, Weber, Berlioz, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Verdi, and Wagner (I am not exaggerating). They got tedious, and one example or two would have been sufficient to explain the general points about Romanticism with specific artists. (Watson could have buried the rest of the composer in the footnotes, if he couldn't bear to part with them.)

I would recommend Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy more highly.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An excellent tome, a worthy accomplishment 28 novembre 2012
Par D. Lawrence - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
It is quite impossible for any one person to say with absolute authority exactly what are all the ideas, concepts, innovations and insights that lead the human forward in the advancement of civilization through the activities of harnessing nature,establishing just laws, instituting the best educational curriculum for social progress, and understanding what psyche is; but the author has taken up the challenge and done exceptionally well. This book is not really a story that starts at some beginning of time and then brings the reader up to a conclusion at our own contemporary time, but instead, is a referential body of the episodes in human history that allowed successive generations of man to build the next future upon and from which then brought forth the steady rise of human betterment. Mr. Watson begins with the civilization of Sumer and proceeds to the last pages with the great scientific breakthroughs of modern physics and American law at the beginning of the 20th century. This is history told in a different light and is one worth reading. One can pick any chapter or any paragraph at random if so desired and find themselves enriched. Or, one can read from beginning to end without interruption. When it is customary for historical work to usually highlight the actions of presidents, titans of commerce, military generals and admirals, campaigns of conquests and the corresponding rise and fall of political systems and their empires, Mr. Watson traces a very different path here and the reader is well rewarded. Does he include all the important philosophers and scientists, engineers and artists and men of medicine? No. But that is not really a shortcoming. He does an adroit job of showing how the rise of man's intellect and improvement in living has been a steady progression of brilliant steps which subtly reveals just what a marvel is the human mind, just what an amazing species are we humans, able to look at the world and pluck out of the imaginative well that is the mind some element that when utilized changes the whole of our world, usually for the good. This book is easy to read, made for any age and lays forth an encouragement that the reader will continue to delve deeper into human history and to pay more attention to those who are often forgotten or ignored in the usual quest of national pride to place triumphant heroes on pedestals to be deified by the common person or to be idolized by some future grandiose politician. I cannot possibly think that any one can truly find fault with the scope and perspective and general aim of this book and what it strives to accomplish.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great reading if you like broad brush history of ideas 11 décembre 2013
Par Jackal - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is the stuff our universities should teach, but sadly is seen as too traditional by many of them.

Contrary to some recent reviewers I find this to be a non-academic, journalistic account of important ideas in human history (as opposed to a deep-thinking academic account). An author of such a book will have some choice of what to include and not to include. I might not agree with all the author's choices, but that is actually a good thing. In other words, the book surprised me on a number of occasions. Since the author is not an academic he is not mentally bound with a specific way of presenting the ideas. On a slightly negative note, it is clear that the author in many cases is just adding material from other sources that he is not familiar with. This is not good, but it would be inhuman to expect the author to be familiar with all the material between the fire and psychoanalysis.

Also contrary to some recent reviews, the book spends time talking about Arabic, Indian and Chinese contributions. Having said that, the book is written from the Western tradition. Since the Western culture that has managed to stay on top for 2,000 years, I find this a perfectly fine choice: Give credit where credit is due, but stick with a Western perspective.

Readers with some knowledge of history (and geography) will find this book more valuable. If you for instance are not already familiar with the Muslim rule in Spain, that chapter will be less pleasant to read. So you need some good high school education. If you want a good education, irrespective of your age, you should read this book with a pencil in hand.

In fact if you only want to read one book on the topic, this is probably the best choice too. Much more readable than a textbook.

The book ends with Freud, because the author has another book on the 20th century.
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Very interesting, however too much to digest, understand ... 17 janvier 2017
Par renatree - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Very interesting, however too much to digest, understand and read. Would not order again. Not saying it is not interesting or well written just different from what I expected after listening to Peter Watson on radio as I drove recently.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great read 6 juin 2014
Par Kneeps - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Excellent book on intellectual history. Watson writes in an engaging style and the breadth of his scholarship is impressive. Seemed a little speculative in the prehistory component but, in fairness, this information does need some interpretation and interpolation to be meaningful. I haven't completed the book yet but I feel that it's well worth the time it takes.
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