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Europe Between the Oceans

by Austin Brown on March 4th, 02009

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Long Now Member Michael C. sent word about a great book review on the Atlantic’s Editor’s Choice for December.  The book is Europe Between the Oceans by Barry Cunliffe, and it recounts 10,000 years of European history starting in 9,000 BC.

I can’t think of a better gift this year for the historically minded reader. No book so well exemplifies what Cunliffe joyously calls “the vibrancy of archaeology.” More important, its focus on what Braudel called the longue durée will jolt the temporally complacent (and aren’t we all?), just as its bracingly materialist approach—which leads to the inescapable conclusion that trade has always laid the foundation for the exchange of ideas and beliefs, indeed for most cultural transformations—nicely tempers our blather about the power of ideas and the individual.

Tyler Cowen liked it, too.  Pick it up in all it’s deca-millenial glory.