The Celts: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Barry Cunliffe

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191577871

Category: History

Page: 176

View: 1350

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Savage and bloodthirsty, or civilized and peaceable? The Celts have long been a subject of enormous fascination, speculation, and misunderstanding. From the ancient Romans to the present day, their real nature has been obscured by a tangled web of preconceived ideas and stereotypes. Barry Cunliffe seeks to reveal this fascinating people for the first time, using an impressive range of evidence, and exploring subjects such as trade, migration, and the evolution of Celtic traditions. Along the way, he exposes the way in which society's needs have shaped our visions of the Celts, and examines such colourful characters as St Patrick, Cú Chulainn, and Boudica. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Druids: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Barry Cunliffe

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191613789

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 2094

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Who were the Druids? What do we know about them? Do they still exist today? The Druids first came into focus in Western Europe - Gaul, Britain, and Ireland - in the second century BC. They are a popular subject; they have been known and discussed for over 2,000 years and few figures flit so elusively through history. They are enigmatic and puzzling, partly because of the lack of knowledge about them has resulted in a wide spectrum of interpretations. Barry Cunliffe takes the reader through the evidence relating to the Druids, trying to decide what can be said and what can't be said about them. He examines why the nature of the druid caste changed quite dramatically over time, and how successive generations have interpreted the phenomenon in very different ways. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Nineteenth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Christopher Harvie,Henry Colin Gray Matthew

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192853988

Category: History

Page: 171

View: 9900

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First published as part of the best-selling The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, Christopher Harvie and Colin Matthew's Very Short Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Britain is a sharp but subtle account of remarkable economic and social change and an even more remarkable political stability. Britain in 1789 was overwhelmingly rural, agrarian, multilingual, and almost half Celtic. By 1914, when it faced its greatest test since the defeat of Napoleon, it was largely urban and English. Christopher Harvie and Colin Matthew show the forces behind Britain's rise to its imperial zenith, and the continuing tensions within the nations and classes of the 'union state'. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Modern Ireland: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Senia Paseta

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019157757X

Category: History

Page: 184

View: 9435

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This is a book about the Irish Question, or more specifically about Irish Questions. The term has become something of a catch-all, a convenient way to encompass numerous issues and developments which pertain to the political, social, and economic history of modern Ireland.The Irish Question has of course changed: one of the main aims of this book is to explore the complicated and shifting nature of the Irish Question and to assess what it has meant to various political minds and agendas. No other issue brought down as many nineteenth-century governments and no comparable twentieth-century dilemma has matched its ability to frustrate the attempts of British cabinets to find a solution; this inability to find a lasting answer to the Irish Question is especially striking when seen in the context of the massive shifts in British foreign policy brought about by two world wars, decolonization, and the cold war. Senia Paseta charts the changing nature of the Irish Question over the last 200 years, within an international political and social historical context. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

World Music: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Philip V. Bohlman

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191579459

Category: Music

Page: 200

View: 6235

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'World music' emerged as an invention of the West from encounters with other cultures. This book draws readers into a remarkable range of these historical encounters, in which music had the power to evoke the exotic and to give voice to the voiceless. In the course of the volume's eight chapters the reader witnesses music's involvement in the modern world, but also the individual moments and particular histories that are crucial to an understanding of music's diversity. World Music is wide-ranging in its geographical scope, yet individual chapters provide in-depth treatments of selected music cultures and regional music histories. The book frequently zooms in on repertoires and musicians - such as Bob Marley, Bartok, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - and attempts to account for world music's growing presence and popularity at the beginning of the twenty-first century. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Ancient Celts

Author: Barry Cunliffe

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019875292X

Category: History

Page: 496

View: 8887

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Fierce warriors and skilled craftsmen, the Celts were famous throughout the Ancient Mediterranean World. They were the archetypal barbarians from the north and were feared by both Greeks and Romans. For two and a half thousand years they have continued to fascinate those who have come into contact with them, yet their origins have remained a mystery and even today are the subject of heated debate among historians and archaeologists. Barry Cunliffe's classic study of the ancient Celtic world was first published in 1997. Since then huge advances have taken place in our knowledge: new finds, new ways of using DNA records to understand Celtic origins, new ideas about the proto-urban nature of early chieftains' strongholds. All these developments are part of this fully updated, and completely redesigned edition. Cunliffe explores the archaeological reality of these bold warriors and skilled craftsmen of barbarian Europe who inspired fear in both the Greeks and the Romans. He investigates the texts of the classical writers and contrasts their view of the Celts with current archaeological findings. Tracing the emergence of chiefdoms and the fifth- to third-century migrations as far as Bosnia and the Czech Republic, he assesses the disparity between the traditional story and the most recent historical and archaeological evidence on the Celts. Other aspects of Celtic identity such as the cultural diversity of the tribes, their social and religious systems, art, language and law, are also examined. From the picture that emerges, we are - crucially - able to distinguish between the original Celts, and those tribes which were "Celtized," giving us an invaluable insight into the true identity of this ancient people.

Prehistory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Chris Gosden

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191577782

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 3275

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This VSI to prehistory will introduce the reader to four and a half million years of human existence. Many of the familiar aspects of modern life are no more than a century or two old, yet our deep social structures and skills were in large measure developed by small bands of our prehistoric ancestors many millennia ago. Chris Gosden invites us to think seriously about who we are by considering who we have been. The idea of prehistory owes its origins to Darwin - suddenly any description of human life on Earth had to take account of a much longer timespan than ever before. What new views of ourselves has this new timespan opened up? Chris Gosden's fascinating new book asks: What relationships did our distant ancestors have with the natural world, with each other, and with the objects and values they created? And as humanity hurtles into a future of virtual interraction and genetic manipulation, what can the darkest recesses of our past teach us about our future? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Colonial America

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Alan Taylor

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199766231

Category: History

Page: 151

View: 1665

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In this Very Short Introduction, Alan Taylor presents the current scholarly understanding of colonial America to a broader audience. He focuses on the transatlantic and a transcontinental perspective, examining the interplay of Europe, Africa, and the Americas through the flows of goods, people, plants, animals, capital, and ideas.

Scotland: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Rab Houston

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019157886X

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 4217

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Since Devolution in 1999 Scotland has become a focus of intense interest both within Britain and throughout the wider world. In this Very Short Introduction, Rab Houston explores how an independent Scottish nation emerged in the Middle Ages, how it was irrevocably altered by Reformation, links with England and economic change, and how Scotland influenced the development of the modern world. Examining politics, law, society, religion, education, migration, and culture, he examines how the nation's history has made it distinct from England, both before and after Union, how it overcame internal tensions between Highland and Lowland society, and how it has today arrived at a political, social and culture watershed. Authoritative, lucid, and ranging widely over issues of environment, people, and identity, this is Scotland's story without myths: an ideal introduction for those interested in the Scots, but also a balanced yet refreshing challenge to those who already feel at home in Scotland past and present. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Economics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Partha Dasgupta

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191578281

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 192

View: 8370

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Economics has the capacity to offer us deep insights into some of the most formidable problems of life, and offer solutions to them too. Combining a global approach with examples from everyday life, Partha Dasgupta describes the lives of two children who live very different lives in different parts of the world: in the Mid-West USA and in Ethiopia. He compares the obstacles facing them, and the processes that shape their lives, their families, and their futures. He shows how economics uncovers these processes, finds explanations for them, and how it forms policies and solutions. Along the way, Dasgupta provides an intelligent and accessible introduction to key economic factors and concepts such as individual choices, national policies, efficiency, equity, development, sustainability, dynamic equilibrium, property rights, markets, and public goods. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Paganism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Owen Davies

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191620017

Category: Religion

Page: 160

View: 9563

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'Paganism' is an evocative word that, even today, conjures up deep-seated emotions and prejudices. Until recently, it was primarily a derogatory term used by Christians to describe the non-Christian cultures confronted and vanquished by their Churches. For some it evokes images of sacrifice and barbaric behaviour, while for others it symbolises a peace-loving, nature-worshipping spiritual relationship with the earth. This Very Short Introduction explores the meaning of paganism - through a chronological overview of the attitudes towards its practices and beliefs - from the ancient world through to the present day. Owen Davies largely looks at paganism through the eyes of the Christian world, and how, over the centuries, notions and representations of its nature were shaped by religious conflict, power struggles, colonialism, and scholarship. Despite the expansion of Christianity and Islam, Pagan cultures continue to exist around the world, whilst in the West new formations of paganism constitute one of the fastest-growing religions. Focussing on paganism in Europe, but exploring the nature of paganism globally, Davies looks at how Europeans discovered new cultures through colonial expansion, missionary work, and anthropological study. Contemporary social paganism can be a liberating and social force, and the idea of a global Pagan theology is now on the religious map. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Vikings

A Very Short Introduction

Author: J. D. Richards

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192806076

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 935

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Highlighting the latest archaeological evidence, Julian Richards reveals the whole Viking world: their history, society and culture, and their expansion overseas for trade, colonization, and plunder.

Logic: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Graham Priest

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192539701

Category: Philosophy

Page: 152

View: 871

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Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are explained in simple, non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy. In this new edition Graham Priest expands his discussion to cover the subjects of algorithms and axioms, and proofs in mathematics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Roman Britain

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Salway

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198712162

Category: History

Page: 122

View: 2115

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First published in The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, 1984; first published as a Very Short Introduction, 2000.

Medieval Britain: A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Gillingham,Ralph A. Griffiths

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 019285402X

Category: History

Page: 177

View: 9878

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First published as part of the best-selling The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, John Gillingham and Ralph A. Griffiths' Very Short Introduction to Medieval Britain covers the establishment of the Anglo-Norman monarchy in the early Middle Ages, through to England's failure to dominate the British Isles and France in the later Middle Ages. Out of the turbulence came stronger senses of identity in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Yet this was an age, too, of growing definition of Englishness and of a distinctive English cultural tradition. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Roman Britain

Author: Peter Salway

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780192851437

Category: History

Page: 824

View: 5929

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'The toga was often to be seen among them': with these words the Roman Historian Tacitus describes the Britons adopting the Roman way of life at an early stage of their long history as Roman provincials.

The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction

Author: James A. Millward

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199323852

Category: History

Page: 168

View: 8627

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The phrase "silk road" evokes vivid scenes of merchants leading camel caravans across vast stretches to trade exotic goods in glittering Oriental bazaars, of pilgrims braving bandits and frozen mountain passes to spread their faith across Asia. Looking at the reality behind these images, this Very Short Introduction illuminates the historical background against which the silk road flourished, shedding light on the importance of old-world cultural exchange to Eurasian and world history. On the one hand, historian James A. Millward treats the silk road broadly, to stand in for the cross-cultural communication between peoples across the Eurasian continent since at least the Neolithic era. On the other, he highlights specific examples of goods and ideas exchanged between the Mediterranean, Persia, India, and China, along with the significance of these exchanges. While including silks, spices, and travelers' tales of colorful locales, the book explains the dynamics of Central Eurasian history that promoted Silk Road interactions--especially the role of nomad empires--highlighting the importance of the biological, technological, artistic, intellectual, and religious interchanges across the continent. Millward shows that these exchanges had a profound effect on the old world that was akin to, if not on the scale of, modern globalization. He also disputes the idea that the silk road declined after the collapse of the Mongol empire or the opening of direct sea routes from Europe to Asia, showing how silk road phenomena continued through the early modern and modern expansion of the Russian and Chinese states across Central Asia. Millward concludes that the idea of the silk road has remained powerful, not only as a popular name for boutiques and restaurants, but also in modern politics and diplomacy, such as U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's "Silk Road Initiative" for India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

The Anglo-Saxon Age: A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Blair

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192854038

Category: History

Page: 85

View: 8626

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First published as part of the best-selling The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, John Blair's Very Short Introduction to the Anglo-Saxon Age covers the emergence of the earliest English settlements to the Norman victory in 1066. This book is a brief introduction to the political, social, religious, and cultural history of Anglo-Saxon England. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Paul Bahn

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191642339

Category: Social Science

Page: 136

View: 6918

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This entertaining Very Short Introduction reflects the enduring popularity of archaeology - a subject which appeals as a pastime, career, and academic discipline, encompasses the whole globe, and surveys 2.5 million years. From deserts to jungles, from deep caves to mountain tops, from pebble tools to satellite photographs, from excavation to abstract theory, archaeology interacts with nearly every other discipline in its attempts to reconstruct the past. In this new edition, Paul Bahn brings the text up to date, including information about new discoveries and interpretations in the field, and highlighting the impact of developments such as the potential use of DNA and stable isotopes in teeth, as well the effect technology and science are having on archaeological exploration. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Stuart Britain: A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Morrill

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192854003

Category: History

Page: 99

View: 3185

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First published as part of the best-selling The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, John Morrill's Very Short Introduction to Stuart Britain sets the Revolution into its political, religious, social, economic, intellectual, and cultural contexts. It thus seeks to integrate what most other surveys pull apart. It gives a graphic account of the effects of a century-long period during which population was growing inexorably and faster than both the food supply and the employment market. It looks at the failed attempts of successive governments to make all those under their authority obedient members of a unified national church; it looks at how Charles I blundered into a civil war which then took on a terrifying momentum of its own. The result was his trial and execution, the abolition of the monarchy, the house of lords, the bishops, the prayer book and the celebration of Christmas. As a result everything else that people took for granted came up for challenge, and this book shows how painfully and with what difficulty order and obedience was restored. Vividly illustrated and full of startling detail, this is an ideal introduction to those interested in getting into the period, and also contains much to challenge and stimulate those who already feel at home in Stuart England. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.