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A Study of History

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Mr. Toynbee's analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations has been acknowledged as an achievement without parallel in modern scholarship. In its way, Mr. Somervell's abridgement of this monumental work is also an unparalleled achievement, for while reducing the work to on - sixth of its original size, he has, preserved its method, atmosphere, texture, and, for the most ...more
Hardcover, revised, abridged, 576 pages
Published March 27th 1989 by Gramercy Books (first published January 1st 1957)
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4.03  · 
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 ·  172 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Paul Bryant
Well I used to have a giant hardback abridgement of this. I remember how it used to near cripple me every time I moved my books around or moved house. You almost needed two guys just to lift this one volume. Or two strong women, of course. Or nine freakishly strong children. I used to read it in bed, and that's why I walk with a limp to this day. Anyway, this guy Toynbee, man alive he never stopped writing, have you seen how many books he wrote? This particular elephantine work is one of those g ...more
Ehab El Malah
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
هذه الدراسة التعريفية الموجزة المنشورة بأحد أعداد مجلة «تراث الإنسانية» العظيمة في ستينيات القرن الماضي، كانت أول ما قرأت عن كتاب المؤرخ الكبير أرنولد توينبي. وبعد قراءتها قررت الحصول على المجلدات الأربعة لـ «مختصر دراسة التاريخ» من ترجمة كاتب الدراسة فؤاد محمد شبل، ومراجعة المؤرخين الكبيرين محمد شفيق غربال وأحمد عزت عبد الكريم.
مجلة تراث الإنسانية هذه لعبت دورا مهما وبارزا في تعريف القراء بكلاسيكيات الأعمال في الأدب والتاريخ والفلسفة والفكر الإنساني عموما.. وأسدت خدمات ثقافية لا تقدر لجمهور القر
Muhammad Hassan
يعتبر بمثابة مقدمة او نبذة عن نظرية توينبى التاريخية
استنبطها الكاتب (محمد شبل ) من خلال ترجمته لكتاب "مختصر دراسة التاريخ "
الذى هو عبارة عن ملخص للموسوعة الكبيرة والمهمة لأرنولد توينبي "دراسة للتاريخ "وتقع فى 12 جزء

الكتاب جيد ولكن يصعب على من يقرأ لتوينبى أول مرة ان يفهم ويستوعب مصلحاته ونظريته
ولا أعرف هل السبب أنها قرائتى الأولى له ام لعيب فى الترجمة
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
يقسم توينبى الحضارات الى اجزاء منهم ضارات فانية ومنهم حضاراتت مازالت موجودة
وشرح كيف تتكون الحضارات وكيق تتقدم ولماذا تتصارع
وماهى اصول تلك الحضارات
بالرغم من قصر الكتاب الا انة مفيد جدا
Dan Waniek
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a Cathedral...

by Dr Dan Waniek, MD
Copyright © 2006
A Study of History : Introduction to the Geneses of Civilizations by Arnold Joseph Toynbee, 1979
This is not a Book !... This is a Cathedral... Its well cut corner stones are great ideas developed by the last masters of history of our times. And the master of them all is as cautious as an engineer, as talented as any genius and - especially - as creative as some great lawyers and most great architects are about their lifeti
Clay Kallam
I first read "A Study of History" in the 1970s and found it fascinating and insightful. Rather than looking at one nation or area or time span, Arnold Toynbee compared what he called "civilizations" to see if he could find common denominators in their development or their structure. A 2017 re-read, though, revealed some issues.

First, the definition of "civilization" is a little murky, as, for example, he counts the Roman Empire as part of the Hellenic "civilization." At one level, certainly ther
Bob Nichols
Aug 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Toynbee starts out strong. He acknowledges that most histories reflect nationalism (tribalism) and his task is to write an objective study involving civilizations that illustrate the universal currents of history, which he sees as the progressive movement toward freedom and Christian ("higher religion") expression, and self determination. While he touches other cultures, his focus in this volume is on Western civilization and its Greek roots.

Toynbee references a dialectical historical process t
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A superb narrative in the History of how civilizations came into being with an insight of how the balances between internal stagnancy against external pressures (there was interesting a golden ratio theory to this too !!!) leads to rise and fall of civilizations, nations and societies. A must read.
Nadine Al lahham
الكتاب مثير للاهتمام لكنه مختصر جداً وعلى القارئ أن يتوسع في قراءة التاريخ وقراءة كتب ماركس قبل قراءة هذا "الملخص"

كنت أتمنى لو أن الكاتب الذي قام بالتلخيص أن يتوسع بالشرح أكثر في بعض مقاطع الكتاب
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All history students and aficionado
Toynbee's A Study of History is one of those voluminous treatises that I simply can't think of any specific points to include in my review, for the book itself already includes virtually everything worth consideration within the field of study. The topics in which this book concerned were on the cultural level of civilizations and on the spatiotemporal level of the globe in millennia. The main parts of discussion were divided into three sections: concerning peace, war, and confrontation between ...more
Ex Leftist Orwell Is Spinning
This 1972 edition (ISBN 0192152548) is NOT Somervell's abridgement but a newer revision by the author himself with Jane Caplan.
Jun 20, 2017 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So, the particular questions raised on p38, namely, 'What is the intelligible field of study which Western historians will discover for themselves in this new age?' and 'Is there some intelligible field of of historical study which is absolute and not merely relative to the particular social environment of particular historians?' would appear to need to address difficulties on pp32-3 in particular (and the issues raised on p46) in the context of issues and arguments presenting elsewhere at,in an ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
من فارسی اینو خوندم و میتونم بگم یکی از بی نظیر ترین کتابای تاریخ بشریت هست.فقط اینکه اصلا کتاب ظاهرا ده جلد است و امیدوارم بتونم یه روزی اصل یا ترجمه کامل رو بخونم...چیزای خیلی خیلی مهمی ازش برای زندگیم یاد گرفتم و قسمت شیطان و خداوندش هم که دیگه واقعا بی نظیره
Giovanni Emmanuel
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book, one of the best written on human history; one book everyone should read.
(review based on the 1972 one-volume edition by the original author and Jane Caplan)

Arnold J. Toynbee does not subscribe to the rules of modern science as exemplified by Karl Popper's falsifiability criterion. He explicitly assigns to historians the task of imposing their own reference frame and vocabulary to make sense of the scattered evidence from documents, archeological finds and oral tradition. The purpose of the historian is not to argue in favour of a Hauptsatz, but to achieve spiritual
Toon Pepermans
(I didn't read parts VI to XI)

This book tells more about the time (and place) in which it was written than about history itself.

How Toynbee manages to totally ignore something like economy is beyond me.
His (mis)use of the yin-yang concept is embarrassing and his other interpretations of mythology often questionable.
His arguments against environmental determinism are nowadays completely laughable: he proves the opposite of what he wants to prove. (There may be better arguments, but he doesn't giv
Adam Cherson
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rate this book a 4.14 on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being best. I read an abridged version. I was very impressed at the time with certain of the historical patterns observed by this writer. In particular I remember his observation, with multiple examples, of how the conquerors often wind up adopting major cultural attributes of the vanquished. This is a must for those looking at the panoramic view of the entire sweep.
Ahmed Omer
قدم توينبي طريقة جديدة لمعالجة التاريخ على اسس المذهب الوضعي جاعلاُ من التاريخ دراسة لها كيان خاص مشتق من مناهج البحث في علوم الطبيعية قسم الظواهر التي يجدها في بحثه بطريقة تسهل من عملية التقييم .. يرى ان للتاريخ جانبين مادي وروحاني وهنا يفترق عن الذين يسردون التاريخ كوقائع دون البحث وراء الدوافع وعن فلاسفة الماركسية الذين ابتكرو الفلسفة المادية التاريخية
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who know lots of big words and foreign languages
Shelves: history
I finally finished!!!! yay!!!
Omar Sharif
Apr 26, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: history
Very informative, although some concepts were a bit new to me.
Ricardo Andrés
its great
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The British historian Arnold Joseph Toynbee was born in London on 14 April 1889 and died on 22 October 1975 in York, North Yorkshire, England. He was educated at Winchester College and Balliol College, Oxford. He was the nephew of economic historian Arnold Toynbee, with whom he is sometimes confused. His first marriage to Rosalind Murray, with whom he had three sons, ended in divorce in 1946. Prof ...more
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