Paul Kriwaczek





Paul Kriwaczek


Born
Vienna, Austria

PAUL KRIWACZEK was born in Vienna. He travelled extensively in Asia and Africa before developing a career in broadcasting and journalist. In 1970, he joined the BBC full-time and wrote, produced, and directed for twenty-five years. He also served as head of Central Asian Affairs at the BBC World Service. He is the author of Yiddish Civilisation: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation, which was shortlisted for the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Award, as well as In Search of Zarathustra: The First Prophet and the Ideas that Changed the World.

Average rating: 3.86 · 1,253 ratings · 172 reviews · 5 distinct worksSimilar authors
Babylon: Mesopotamia And Th...

3.90 avg rating — 644 ratings — published 2010 — 11 editions
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In Search of Zarathustra: A...

3.76 avg rating — 445 ratings — published 2002 — 14 editions
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Yiddish Civilisation: The R...

3.98 avg rating — 128 ratings — published 2005 — 9 editions
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E=mc²: The Great Ideas that...

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3.76 avg rating — 41 ratings — published 2002 — 5 editions
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Documentary for the Small S...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1997 — 5 editions
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“Assyria soon discovered a painful truth: empires are like Ponzi schemes: financial frauds in which previous investors are paid returns out of new investors' deposits. The costs of holding imperial territory can only be underwritten by loot and tribute extracted by constant new conquests; empires must continue to expand if they are not to collapse.”
Paul Kriwaczek, Babylon: Mesopotamia And The Birth Of Civilization

“But belief in a system cannot be sustained for ever. Empires based solely on power and domination, while allowing their subjects to do as they will, can last for centuries. Those that try to control the everyday lives of their people are much harder to sustain.”
Paul Kriwaczek, Babylon: Mesopotamia And The Birth Of Civilization

“Those societies in which seriousness, tradition, conformity and adherence to long-established - often god-prescribed - ways of doing things are the strictly enforced rule, have always been the majority across time and throughout the world. Such people are not known for their sense of humour and lightness of touch; they rarely break a smile. To them, change is always suspect and usually damnable, and they hardly ever contribute to human development. By contrast, social, artistic and scientific progress as well as technological advance are most evident where the ruling culture and ideology give men and women permission to play, whether with ideas, beliefs, principles or materials. And where playful science changes people's understanding of the way the physical world works, political change, even revolution, is rarely far behind.”
Paul Kriwaczek, Babylon: Mesopotamia And The Birth Of Civilization

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