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Ideas: A History

Peter Watson

1 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, History, General & world history

A highly ambitious and lucid history of ideas from the very earliest times to the present day.

In this hugely ambitious and exciting book Peter Watson tells the history of ideas from prehistory to the present day, leading to a new way of telling the history of the world. The book begins over a million years ago with a discussion of how the earliest ideas might have originated. Looking at animal behaviour that appears to require some thought - tool-making, territoriality, counting, language (or at least sounds), pairbonding - Peter Watson moves on to the apeman and the development of simple ideas such as cooking, the earliest language, the emergence of family life. All the obvious areas are tackled - the Ancient Greeks, Christian theology, the ideas of Jesus, astrological thought, the soul, the self, beliefs about the heavens, the ideas of Islam, the Crusades, humanism, the Renaissance, Gutenberg and the book, the scientific revolution, the age of discovery, Shakespeare, the idea of Revolution, the Romantic imagination, Darwin, imperialism, modernism, Freud right up to the present day and the internet.

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Praise for Ideas: A History

  • Here is an original perspective on the history of the world... All the important ideas are discussed, from the Ancient Greeks right up to the present day and the internet. - Sunday Telegraph

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Peter Watson

Peter Watson was born in 1943 and educated at the universities of Durham, London and Rome. He was deputy editor of New Society and spent four years as part of the Insight team of The Sunday Times. He was New York correspondent of The Times and has written for the Observer, The New York Times, Punch and the Spectator. He is the author of thirteen books and has presented several television programmes about the arts. Since 1998 he has been a Research Associate at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge.

Previous titles:
Ideas (Cfmt Jul 06);
Nureyev

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