Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization

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Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization

Format:  Hardcover,

310 pages

Publisher: St Martins Pr

Publish Date: Mar 2012

ISBN-13: 9781250000071

ISBN-10: 1250000076

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The following content was provided by the publisher.
Civilization was born eight thousand years ago, between the floodplains of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, when migrants from the surrounding mountains and deserts began to create increasingly sophisticated urban societies. In the cities that they built, half of human history took place.

In "Babylon, "Paul Kriwaczek tells the story of Mesopotamia from the earliest settlements seven thousand years ago to the eclipse of Babylon in the sixth century BCE. Bringing the people of this land to life in vibrant detail, the author chronicles the rise and fall of power during this period and explores the political and social systems, as well as the technical and cultural innovations, which made this land extraordinary. At the heart of this book is the story of Babylon, which rose to prominence under the Amorite king Hammurabi from about 1800 BCE. Even as Babylon's fortunes waxed and waned, it never lost its allure as the ancient world's greatest city.

Engaging and compelling, "Babylon "reveals the splendor of the ancient world that laid the foundation for civilization itself.

Specifications

Author:
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Publish Date: Mar 2012
ISBN-13: 9781250000071
ISBN-10: 1250000076
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 310
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.14
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.49 x 1.14 x 9.41
Walmart No.: 9781250000071

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2012-04-01)

Mesopotamian culture lasted for well over 3000 years, and Kriwaczek (BBC World Service; Yiddish Civilisation: The Rise and Fall of a Forgotten Nation), who died last year (this book was published in the UK in 2010), reminds us that we have much to learn from it. The concept of " Babylon" may represent a strange and alien world, but modern figures have drawn inspiration from it and made explicit comparisons.

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, for example, modeled his rule on ancient Babylon ian and Sumerian kings, and parallels to their history can also be found in his downfall. Central planning and bureaucracy as practiced in the earliest days of Sumer continue to thrive and fail in much the same way they did then. Old Babylon developed medical procedures, lost during the subsequent ascendancy of Greek medicine, from which we may still learn. By understanding Mesopotamia, which predated modern national boundaries and the major monotheistic religions, Kriwaczek implies, historians may deepen their understanding of the region's present struggles.

Verdict: While not a rigorous academic study, this vibrant and thought-provoking work succeeds in making ancient history relevant. Any reader interested in history, religion, or political science should enjoy it.

[See Prepub Alert, 10/28/11.] - Margaret Heller, Dominican Univ. Lib., River Forest, IL

(c). Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

Civilization was born eight thousand years ago, between the floodplains of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, when migrants from the surrounding mountains and deserts began to create increasingly sophisticated urban societies. In the cities that they built, half of human history took place.

In Babylon, Paul Kriwaczek tells the story of Mesopotamia from the earliest settlements seven thousand years ago to the eclipse of Babylon in the sixth century BCE. Bringing the people of this land to life in vibrant detail, the author chronicles the rise and fall of power during this period and explores the political and social systems, as well as the technical and cultural innovations, which made this land extraordinary.

At the heart of this book is the story of Babylon, which rose to prominence under the Amorite king Hammurabi from about 1800 BCE. Even as Babylon’s fortunes waxed and waned, it never lost its allure as the ancient world’s greatest city.

Engaging and compelling, Babylon reveals the splendor of the ancient world that laid the foundation for civilization itself.

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