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The Myth of the West

Hardback|Jul 1995
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$37.99

"The subject of this fascinating book is the rise, flourishing, and decline of the heliotropic myth, the centuries-old belief that all history is a succession of great civilizations developing, like the movement of the sun, from the East to the...


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"The subject of this fascinating book is the rise, flourishing, and decline of the heliotropic myth, the centuries-old belief that all history is a succession of great civilizations developing, like the movement of the sun, from the East to the West. America is in this vision the last empire, indeed, the fulfillment of history." "Esteemed historian Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt draws on works of world poetry and other sources in describing the importance of the heliotropic myth and shows how the expectation of a final completion of history gave meaning and coherence to our civilization and how the mythic yearning for a better world drove our ancestors to distant lands ever farther westward." "Now in the twentieth century, with all western horizons gone and the realities of societal life - even in America - not so utopian, we no longer dare to believe in the values of the West and prefer to live instead with an extraordinarily tolerant cultural relativism. With the approach of the new millennium - once predicted by the heliotropic myth to be a time of brilliant living - Schulte Nordholt's work not only offers a perspective that will enhance all areas of study in American and world history, but provokes a fresh desire for the real meaning of human history."--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
-Publisher

Schulte Nordholt (American history, U. of Leiden, The Netherlands) addresses the rise, flourishing, and decline of the heliotropic myth, the belief that all history is a succession of great civilizations developing from the East to the West, with the conquest of America in this vision providing meaning and coherence to our civilization. Translated from Dutch. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
-Publisher

The subject of this fascinating book is the rise, flourishing, and decline of the heliotropic myth, the centuries-old belief that all history is a succession of great civilizations developing, like the movement of the sun, from the East to the West. America is in this vision the last empire, indeed, the fulfillment of history. Esteemed historian Jan Willem Schulte Nordholt draws on works of world poetry and other sources in describing the importance of the heliotropic myth and shows how the expectation of a final completion of history gave meaning and coherence to our civilization and how the mythic yearning for a better world drove our ancestors to distant lands ever farther westward. Now in the twentieth century, with all western horizons gone and the realities of societal life - even in America - not so utopian, we no longer dare to believe in the values of the West and prefer to live instead with an extraordinarily tolerant cultural relativism. With the approach of the new millennium - once predicted by the heliotropic myth to be a time of brilliant living - Schulte Nordholt's work not only offers a perspective that will enhance all areas of study in American and world history, but provokes a fresh desire for the real meaning of human history.
-Publisher

PRODUCT DETAIL
  • Catalogue Code 80486
  • Product Code 080283793X
  • EAN 9780802837936
  • Pages 225
  • Department Academic
  • Category History
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Eerdmans
  • Publication Date Jul 1995
  • Dimensions 235 x 165 x 19mm
  • Weight 0.499kg

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