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A Study of History Criticism

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There were two markedly different reactions to A Study of History. The general public gave the book an enthusiastic reception, but academic historians were in general severely critical of Toynbee's work.

In 1947, when Somervell's abridgement of volumes 1-6 appeared, Toynbee won wide popular acclaim in the United States. E. D. Myers' review in the Nation was typical of the praise heaped on the book by nonspecialists. Myers commented that Toynbee's concepts and analysis were "of sufficient importance and excellence to merit serious study; his presentation is as 'entrancing' as Mr. Somervell suggests it is." Myers suggested that if readers had time to read only one book that year, they should select A Study of History.

Much of the American book-buying public felt the same way. The abridged version became a Book-of-the-Month club selection and a bestseller. In 1947 alone, over 129,000 copies were sold, and total sales in the next...

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This section contains 752 words
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A Study of History from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.