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Download Worlds at War: The 2,500-Year Struggle Between East and West Audiobook

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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (153 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anthony Pagden Narrator: John Le Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the tradition of Jared Diamond and Jacques Barzun, prize-winning historian Anthony Pagden presents a sweeping history of the long struggle between East and West, from the Greeks to the present day.

The relationship between East and West has always been one of turmoil. In this historical tour de force, a renowned historian leads us from the world of classical antiquity, through the Dark Ages, to the Crusades, Europe’s resurgence, and the dominance of the Ottoman Empire, which almost shattered Europe entirely. Pagden travels from Napoleon in Egypt to Europe’s carving up of the finally moribund Ottomans—creating the modern Middle East along the way—and on to the present struggles in Iraq.

Throughout we learn a tremendous amount about what “East” and “West” were and are, and how it has always been competing worldviews and psychologies, more than religion or power grabs, that have fed the mistrust and violence between East and West. In Pagden’s dark but provocative view, this struggle cannot help but go on.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An accessible and lucid exploration of the history of the East-West split, concluding with a nuanced look at the divisions and misapprehensions that continue to the present time. Fans of Jacques Barzun and Jared Diamond will be most impressed by Pagden’s big picture perspective.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Inquisitive and incisive about the sweep of history, Pagden will connect with readers wanting to deepen their grasp of contemporary news.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ronn | 2/7/2014

    " Very informative and relative to current events but takes a big commentment to read. I needed to have Encyclopedic World Atlas, dictionary and Wikipedia on hand constantly but glad to have read it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Cameron Willis | 1/21/2014

    " A very disappointing book. The contents are a much smarter and more nuanced standard of clash of civilizations type: the West, which is, for whatever reason, democratic, rational, liberal, pitted against 'the East', here only the Arab Middle East, Iran and Turkey, which is despotic, irrational, arbitrary and everything else we're supposed to hate. Mind you, Pagden is at least aware that these concepts are not just innate or natural, and he attempts to add some social, economic and political analysis to muddy up his shallow waters. When that history isn't questionable (his bit on Roman citizenship and universal human rights) it is badly twisted to fit a mendacious argument about the inherent and abiding differences between East and West. Why is it dishonest? Well, Pagden deliberately leaves out China and India, for starters, and writes as if Said's 'Orientalism' (a troubled but insightful book) had never existed. Most unforgivably, Pagden is a historian of imperial ideologies: he has devoted much of his academic career to studying the ways in which European justified their overseas conquests, and yet he seems barely away of the supreme irony that his work is itself redolent with imperialist ideology. Ugh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jim | 1/19/2014

    " very informative and interesting so far "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Paul Callister | 1/5/2014

    " A really good primer on the historical factors that lead to the "irreconcilable differences" between East (middle east) and West. it does leave the reader troubled as to the future of two great civilizations. "

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About the Author
Author Anthony Pagden

Anthony Pagden has been a fellow of Merton College, Oxford; University Reader in Intellectual History at Cambridge University; a fellow of King’s College; and the Harry C. Black Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a professor in the history and political science departments at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of numerous prize-winning books on European imperialism and the European understanding of non-European cultures. Among his recent publications are Peoples and Empires and Europeans and the Rest of the World. He also contributes regularly to the Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books, the New Republic, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. He lives in Los Angeles.