What Exactly Is Western Civilisation?
Manage episode 358038077 series 2492030
We tend to imagine Western Civilisation as a golden thread connecting ancient Greece to modern Europe, from Plato to NATO. But what if the idea itself is deeply flawed? Historian and archaeologist Naoíse Mac Sweeney's recent book, The West: A New History of an Old Idea, argues that our understanding of the West is deeply misleading and obscures the rich diversity of our past. Drawing on the lives of characters throughout history – including a formidable Roman matriarch and an unconventional Islamic scholar – Mac Sweeney says that the dominant narrative of Western history is an invention which has been used to justify imperialism and racism, and is no longer ideologically fit for purpose today. Discussing the book with Mac Sweeney is fellow author and columnist at The Times, Edward Lucas.
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