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  • Westview Press

Dialogues Across Civilizations

Roxann Prazniak

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Prose: non-fiction, History

Dialogues Across Civilizations sets the histories of China and Europe alongside one another. Each chapter stands as an essay that imaginatively places historical individuals and events in proximity to one another and explores a specific topic, gender relations, rural politics, artistic renderings of nature, to name a few, through the stories of persons who reflected on similar questions but in different social and cultural settings. Through this juxtaposition, Chinese and European civilizations illuminate each other's achievements, problems, and limitations in a range of areas from urban history to religious faith. Privileging neither Europe nor China, this work offers an innovative move away from relativism and multiculturalism towards an analysis that focuses on relationships between social choices and consequences. As a result, both common and divergent perspectives on the human condition emerge for discussion. Drawing upon a rich literature of cross-societal studies, Dialogues Across Civilizations generates reflection on themes central to the study of world history as well as European and Asian history.

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