Bill O'driscoll's Reviews > Civilizations: Culture, Ambition, and the Transformation of Nature

Civilizations by Felipe Fernández-Armesto
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M 50x66
's review
Jun 27, 2010

really liked it

Masterful work by the brilliant British historian that groups various civilizations not by time period or continent by the type of environment in which they formed. Not quite "geography is destiny," but close. F-A regards "civilization" precisely as humanity's attempts to control the environment, and he's very much a "two cheers for civilization" sort: obviously in love with culture and in awe of achievements like transoceanic sailing passages, but pretty clear-eyed about the destruction humanity causes. Heavy stuff, but F-A is a witty, almost Wildean sort of writer, and this is highly enjoyable reading as well as magisterial history.
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Reading Progress

June 27, 2010 – Started Reading
June 27, 2010 – Shelved
June 27, 2010 –
July 1, 2010 – Finished Reading
July 5, 2010 –
July 5, 2010 –

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