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A Study of History Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 52 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Study of History.
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Chapter 1: The Unit of Historical Study

In A Study of History, Toynbee first identifies the unit that should be the object of the historian's study. This unit is not an individual nation but an entire civilization. Toynbee identifies five living civilizations: Western Christian, Orthodox Christian, Islamic, Hindu, and Far Eastern. In addition there are sixteen extinct civilizations from which living civilizations developed. Toynbee then makes a distinction between primitive societies, of which there are many, and civilizations, which are comparatively few. He dismisses the idea that there is now only one civilization, the West, and also the notion that all civilization originated in Egypt.

Chapter 3: Growths of Civilizations

After examining why some civilizations (Polynesian, Eskimo) cease to develop, Toynbee discusses how the growth of a society is to be measured. He concludes that neither military nor political expansion, nor advances in agricultural or industrial techniques, are reliable criteria...

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This section contains 1,310 words
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Buy the A Study of History Study Guide
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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.