The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences

Audio Book (CD) | April 9, 2013

byDavid Cannadine

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A New York Times Editor’s Choice

From one of our most acclaimed historians comes an account of human solidarity throughout the ages, provocatively arguing against the received wisdom that history is best understood as a chronicle of groups in conflict.

Investigating the six most pervasive categories of human difference—religion, nation, class, gender, race, and civilization—Cannadine asks how determinative each of them has really been over the course of history. Without denying their power to motivate populations dramatically at particular moments, he reveals that in the long term none has proven remotely as divisive as the occasional absolutist cries of “us versus them” would suggest, whether Christian versus Muslim during the Crusades (and now), landed gentry versus peasantry during the Bolshevik Revolution, or Jews versus “Aryan race” in Nazi Germany. For most of recorded time, these same “unbridgeable” differences were experienced as just one identity among others; whatever most chroniclers, self-serving mythmakers, and demagogues would have us believe, history needs to be reimagined to include the countless fruitful interactions across these lines, which are usually left out of the picture.

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A New York Times Editor’s ChoiceFrom one of our most acclaimed historians comes an account of human solidarity throughout the ages, provocatively arguing against the received wisdom that history is best understood as a chronicle of groups in conflict.Investigating the six most pervasive categories of human difference—religion, nation, ...

David Cannadine was born in Birmingham, England, and educated at Cambridge, Oxford, and Princeton. He is the editor and author of many acclaimed books, including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy, which won the Lionel Trilling Prize and the Yale Univeristy Press Governors’ Award; Aspects of Aristocracy; G. M. Trevelyan; T...

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Format:Audio Book (CD)Dimensions:10 pages, 5.7 × 5.2 × 0.75 inPublished:April 9, 2013Publisher:Blackstone AudioLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1470844559

ISBN - 13:9781470844554

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“Cannadine does not say so, but he may well have written his book in response to Samuel Huntington’s famous argument about the clash of civilizations…I can only hope that The Undivided Past will have all the impact of Huntington’s work, serving as an important reminder that human beings around the world not only have much in common but also have improved the conditions of their lives over time…His optimism is both refreshing and necessary.”--New York Times Book Review“A mediation on the ways in which history has been abused to present the world divided into simple, opposing identities of good and evil, ‘them’ and ‘us’…If any current historian might speak truth to power then we should wish it to be David Cannadine.” --Daily Telegraph (London)“One of our most provocative and profound historians, Cannadine confronts the brutally populist, crudely polarized Manichean concept of ‘us versus them’ in the writing of history. He affirms, rather, the complexity and diversity of humanity and the connectedness of its manifold identities.”--Times (London)“A spirited case for harmony against the myths of identity politics…The Undivided Pastsucceeds best as a Swiftian treatise on the ignorance of the learned and the follies of the wise. While the fetishism of a single, adversarial identity still derails the study of history as much as the practice of politics, The Undivided Past should earn applause.”--Independent (London)