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This book is the culmination of 15 years of research and travels that have taken the author completely around the world twice, as well as on other travels in the Mediterranean, the Baltic, and around the Pacific rim. Its purpose has been to try to understand the role of cultural differences within nations and between nations, today and over centuries of history, in shaping the economic and social fates of peoples and of whole civilizations. Focusing on four major cultural areas(that of the British, the Africans (including the African diaspora), the Slavs of Eastern Europe, and the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere— Conquests and Cultures reveals patterns that encompass not only these peoples but others and help explain the role of cultural evolution in economic, social, and political development.
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Another tour de force by one of America's leading public intellectuals. Conquests and Cultures continues in the tradition of Sowell's superb books, Race and Culture and Migrations and Cultures. The series attempts to understand the meaning of cultural differences, including how these differences have influenced the economic and social fates of civilizations, nations, and ethnic groups. This particular installment focuses on how military conquest both destroys culture and spreads it by examining the histories of the English, the Africans, the Slavs, and the indigenous people of the New World. Sowell rejects the cultural relativism that is currently so fashionable in the universities and forthrightly believes that some cultures--understood as "the working machinery of everyday life"--are clearly superior to others. He marshals a massive amount of scholarly material to support his ideas, and capably turns this mountain of data into straightforward prose. --John J.MillerAbout the Author:
Thomas Sowell has taught economics at a number of colleges and universities, including Cornell, University of California Los Angeles, and Amherst. He has published both scholarly and popular articles and books on economics, and is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
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