By Mary Evans

"A fabulous inquiry into tradition and society over a few seven centuries, Mary Evans explores the origins and trajectories of modernity from the Reformation throughout the Enlightenment to the modern interval. Her highbrow regulate of complicated rules and various varieties of facts is constantly extraordinary. Exploring numerous pessimistic, dystopian strands in ecu views on modernity via Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber and Theodor Adorno, she defends a balanced view of either the unfavourable and confident results of modernization. this can be historic sociology at its top: sensible, theoretically knowledgeable, conscientiously crafted, grounded in empirical study, and in particular intellectually shrewdpermanent. a quick historical past of Society will turn out to be a necessary better half to the coed who wishes a concise scholarly and sociological assessment of modernity."
Bryan Turner, nationwide college of Singapore

A brief historical past of Society is a concise account of the emergence of contemporary western society. It appears at how successive generations have understood and defined the realm within which they lived, and examines major occasions because the Enlightenment that experience ended in the advance of society as we all know it this present day. The e-book spans the interval 1500 to the current day and discusses the social global when it comes to either its politics and its culture.

This e-book is perfect for undergraduate scholars within the social sciences who're at a loss for words through the myriad of occasions and theories with which their classes are involved, and who desire a old point of view at the adjustments that formed the modern world.

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Additional info for A Short History of Society: The Making of the Modern World (UK Higher Education OUP Humanities & Social Sciences Sociology)

Sample text

The second 34 A SHORT HISTORY OF SOCIETY issue of which slavery is a part is that of the crucial eighteenthcentury concern with the nature of the relationship between a state and its people. It was this concern, more than any other, which gave rise to two of the best-known of the dates in the eighteenth century: the Declaration of Independence in what was to become the United States of America in1776, and the French Revolution of 1789. Both of these dramatic shifts in the reordering of the political life of the west (with consequences that were to last, in both cases, for decades afterwards) arose in part out of debates and ideas of the Enlightenment, but they also emerged out of specific social transformations and political circumstances.

On the other side of the Channel in France, Catholicism had been re-established as the dominant religion when, in 1685, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes and rekindled antagonism towards the Huguenots. In Germany and other parts of northern and central Europe the Thirty Years War of 1618–48 led to considerable loss of life and social chaos; only in Spain and Italy was Catholicism so little challenged as to rule out the possibility of bitter social strife. Thus set against the emergence of Enlightenment scepticism and nascent secularism, what we can see is the persistence of views about religion which were sufficiently passionately held to produce civil wars and persecution.

The ‘ordinary’ people who constituted the characters of the great English novels of the 40 A SHORT HISTORY OF SOCIETY eighteenth century, for example those of Daniel Defoe (1660–1731), Samuel Richardson (1689–1761), Henry Fielding (1707–54) and Tobias Smollett (1721–71), had a huge social range, and included characters from all walks and conditions of society. This in itself was no different from the range of characters in Shakespeare, but what the novel did was to examine individual human motivation and to allow readers to share in the choices faced by the central characters.

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