Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism

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9780860917090: Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism

The rise of the modern absolutist monarchies in Europe constitutes in many ways the birth of the modern historical epoch. Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, the companion volume to Perry Anderson’s highly acclaimed and influential Lineages of the Absolutist State, is a sustained exercise in historical sociology to root the development of absolutism in the diverse routes taken from the slave-based societies of Ancient Greece and Rome to fully-fledged feudalism. In the course of this study Anderson vindicates and refines the explanatory power of a Marxist conception of history, whilst casting a fascinating light on Greece, Rome, the Germanic invasion, nomadic society, and the different patterns of the evolution of feudalism in Northern, Mediterranean, Eastern and Western Europe.

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About the Author:

Perry Anderson is the author of, among other books, Spectrum, Lineages of the Absolutist State, Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, Considerations on Western Marxism, English Questions, The Origins of Postmodernity, and The New Old World. He teaches history at UCLA and is on the editorial board of New Left Review.

Review:

“A complex, beautifully interwoven and controlled account of Europe from the ancient Greeks to modern absolutist monarchies ... exhilarating.”—Moses Finley, Guardian

“A most stimulating introduction to the understanding of modern capitalist society ... It is the breadth and the sweep of Anderson’s interpretation which impresses, It is a synthesis which gives a convincing explanation of the development of European feudalism, whether that of East or West, Baltic or Mediterranean.”—Rodney Hilton

“Quite splendid ... A powerful and lucid intelligence.”—Eric Hobsbawm, New Statesman

“The breath-taking range of conception and architectural skill with which it has been executed make this work a formidable intellectual experience.”—Keith Thomas, New York Review of Books

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