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A Study of History Study Guide & Plot Summary

This Study Guide consists of approximately 69 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Study of History.
This section contains 1,310 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
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Plot Summary

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 2: Geneses of Civilizations

How do civilizations emerge from primitive societies? For Toynbee, the answer does not lie in race; nor does an easy environment provide a key to the origins of civilization. On the contrary, civilizations arise out of creative responses to difficult...

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This section contains 1,310 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our A Study of History Study Guide
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A Study of History from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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