The Theft of History

By Jack Goody
(Cambridge University Press, Paperback, 9780521691055, 342pp.)

Publication Date: February 1, 2007

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Description
Professor Jack Goody builds on his own previous work to extend further his highly influential critique of what he sees as the pervasive eurocentric or occidentalist biases of so much western historical writing. Goody also examines the consequent 'theft' by the West of the achievements of other cultures in the invention of (notably) democracy, capitalism, individualism, and love. The Theft of History discusses a number of theorists in detail, including Marx, Weber and Norbert Elias, and engages with critical admiration western historians like Fernand Braudel, Moses Finlay and Perry Anderson. Major questions of method are raised, and Goody proposes a new comparative methodology for cross-cultural analysis, one that gives a much more sophisticated basis for assessing divergent historical outcomes, and replaces outmoded simple differences between East and West. The Theft of History will be read by an unusually wide audience of historians, anthropologists and social theorists.
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