The essays incorporate several indicators of quality of life, especially real per capita income and health, but also real wages, education, and inequality. And while the authors use traditional measures of health such as life expectancy and mortality rates, this volume stands alone in its extensive use of new "anthropometric" data—information about height, weight and body mass index that indicates changes in nations' well-being. Consequently, Health and Welfare during Industrialization signals a new direction in economic history, a broader and more thorough understanding of what constitutes standard of living.
Johnson begins by painting the economic, technological, and social developments that give the period its background. But, as Johnson explains, "The Renaissance was primarily a human event, propelled forward by a number of individuals of outstanding talent, in some cases amounting to genius." It is the human foreground that absorbs most of the book's attention. "We can give all kinds of satisfying explanations of why and when the Renaissance occurred and how it transmitted itself," Johnson writes. "But there is no explaining Dante, no explaining Chaucer. Genius suddenly comes to life, and speaks out of a vacuum. Then it is silent, equally mysteriously. The trends continue and intensify, but genius is lacking." In the four parts that make up the heart of the book--"The Renaissance in Literature and Scholarship," "The Anatomy of Renaissance Sculpture," "The Buildings of the Renaissance," and "The Apostolic Successions of Renaissance Painting"--Johnson chronicles the lives and works of the age's animating spirits. Finally, he examines the spread and decline of the Renaissance, and its abiding legacy. A book of dazzling riches, The Renaissance is a compact masterpiece of the historian's art.
From the Hardcover edition.
With Humanism Challenges Materialism in Economics and Economic History, Roderick Floud, Santhi Hejeebu, and David Mitch have brought together a distinguished group of scholars in economics, economic history, political science, philosophy, gender studies, and communications who synthesize and build on McCloskey’s work. The essays in this volume illustrate the ways in which the humanistic approach to economics that McCloskey pioneered can open up new vistas for the study of economic history and cultivate rich synergies with a wide range of disciplines. The contributors show how values and beliefs become embedded in the language of economics and shape economic outcomes. Chapters on methodology are accompanied by case studies discussing particular episodes in economic history.
Ancient Egypt, with its legacy of pyramids, pharaohs and sphinxes, is a land of power and mystery to the modern world. In The Civilization of Ancient Egypt Paul Johnson explores the growth and decline of a culture that survived for 3,000 years and maintained a purity of style that rivals all others. Johnson's study looks in detail at the state, religion, culture and geographical setting and how they combined in this unusually enduring civilization. From the beginning of Egyptian culture to the rediscovery of the pharaohs, the book covers the totalitarian theocracy, the empire of the Nile, the structure of dynastic Egypt, the dynastic way of death, hieroglyphs, the anatomy of perspective art and, finally, the decline and fall of the pharaohs, Johnson seeks, through an exciting combination of images and analysis, to discover the causes behind the collapse of this, great civilization while celebrating the extra-ordinary legacy it has left behind.Paul Johnson on Ancient Egypt and the Egyptians
"Egypt was not only the first state, it was the first country.... The durability of the state which thus evolved was ensured by the overwhelming simplicity and power of its central institution, the theocratic monarchy."
"The Egyptians did not share the Babylonian passion for astrology, but they used the stars as one of many guides to behavior. No Egyptian believed in a free exercise of will in important decisions: he always looked for an omen or a prophecy or an oracle."
"The development of hieroglyphics mirrors and epitomizes the history of Egyptian civilization. . . . No one outside Egypt understood it and even within Egypt it was the exclusive working tool of the ruling and priestly classes. The great mass of Egyptians were condemned to illiteracy by the complexities (and also the beauties) of the Egyptian written language."
"The affection the Egyptians were not. ashamed to display towards their children was related to the high status women enjoyed in Egyptian society."
"If we can understand Egyptian art we can go a long way towards grasping the very spirit and outlook on life, of this gifted people, so remote in time. The dynamic of their civilization seems to have been a passionate love of order (maat to them), by which they sought to give to human activities and creations the same regularity as their landscape, their great river, their sun-cycle and their immutable seasons."