Search results for: the-renaissance-a-very-short-introduction

The Renaissance A Very Short Introduction

Author : Jerry Brotton
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More than ever before, the Renaissance stands as one of the defining moments in world history. Between 1400 and 1600, European perceptions of society, culture, politics and even humanity itself emerged in ways that continue to affect not only Europe but the entire world. This wide-ranging exploration of the Renaissance sees the period as a time of unprecedented intellectual excitement and cultural experimentation and interaction on a global scale, alongside a darker side of religion, intolerance, slavery, and massive inequality of wealth and status. It guides the reader through the key issues that defined the period, from its art, architecture, and literature, to advancements in the fields of science, trade, and travel. In its incisive account of the complexities of the political and religious upheavals of the period, the book argues that Europe's reciprocal relationship with its eastern neighbours offers us a timely perspective on the Renaissance that still has much to teach us today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Renaissance Art A Very Short Introduction

Author : Geraldine A Johnson
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Botticelli, Holbein, Leonardo, Dürer, Michelangelo: the names are familiar, as are the works, such as the Last Supper fresco, or the monumental marble statue of David. But who were these artists, why did they produce such memorable images, and how would their original beholders have viewed these objects? Was the Renaissance only about great masters and masterpieces, or were "mistresses" also involved, such as women artists and patrons? And what about the 'minor'-pieces that Renaissance men and women would have encountered in homes, churches and civic spaces? This exciting and stimulating volume will answer such questions by considering both famous and lesser-known artists, patrons and works of art within the cultural and historical context of Renaissance Europe. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Harlem Renaissance

Author : Cheryl A. Wall
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"This Very Short Introduction offers an overview of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural awakening among African Americans between the two world wars. Cheryl A. Wall brings readers to the Harlem of 1920s to identify the cultural themes and issues that engaged writers, musicians, and visual artists alike"--

Revolutions A Very Short Introduction

Author : Jack A. Goldstone
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This volume places recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan to Tunisia and Egypt in historical context. It provides a history of revolutions and insurgencies, an introduction to the way social scientists think about the causes and outcomes of revolutions, and an explanation of their significance in historical and political change. Jack A. Goldstone begins with a brief history of revolutions and insurgencies, from the revolutions that brought democracy to Greek city-states and led to thefounding of Rome through the major peasant revolts of the Middle Ages in Europe and China, and the Independence revolts in the Americas. He also touches upon the insurgencies in Latin America (Zapatistas and FARC) and Asia (in Malaysia and the Philippines), whose failure is instructive in understanding why revolts succeed or fail. The book then discusses types of revolutions and their causes; the radical social revolutions in France, Russia, and China; the revolutions for independence in Indiaand Algeria; revolutions against dictators in Mexico, Cuba, and Iran; and the so-called color revolutions in Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, and Georgia. Goldstone considers some of the key revolutionary leaders of history where they came from, what inspired them, and how they changed their societies. A diverse range of popular groups have carried revolutions: peasants, miners, urban craftsmen, professionals, students, and mothers, all treated here. A chapter on insurgency and counter-insurgencycovers Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, Goldstone grapples with the outcomes of revolutions: whether they are associated with the rise of freedom and democracy, devastating ideological dictatorships, or something inconclusive. He examines the historical legacies of revolutions, in the areas of freedom, economic growth, women's rights, and minority rights. Revolutions have succeeded enough to feed dreams of freedom, but failed often enough to prompt caution.

Italian Literature A Very Short Introduction

Author : Peter Hainsworth
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In this Very Short Introduction to Italian Literature, Peter Hainsworth and David Robey examine Italian literature from the Middle Ages up to the present day, looking at themes and issues which have recurred throughout its history and continue to be of importance today.

The History of Physics

Author : J. L. Heilbron
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How does the physics we know today - a highly professionalized enterprise, inextricably linked to government and industry - link back to its origins as a liberal art in Ancient Greece? What is the path that leads from the old philosophy of nature and its concern with humankind's place in the universe to modern massive international projects that hunt down fundamental particles and industrial laboratories that manufacture marvels? This Very Short Introduction introduces us to Islamic astronomers and mathematicians calculating the size of the earth while their caliphs conquered much of it; to medieval scholar-theologians investigating light; to Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton, measuring, and trying to explain, the universe. We visit the "House of Wisdom" in 9th-century Baghdad; Europe's first universities; the courts of the Renaissance; the Scientific Revolution and the academies of the 18th century; and the increasingly specialized world of 20th and 21st century science. Highlighting the shifting relationship between physics, philosophy, mathematics, and technology - and the implications for humankind's self-understanding - Heilbron explores the changing place and purpose of physics in the cultures and societies that have nurtured it over the centuries. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Fashion A Very Short Introduction

Author : Rebecca Arnold
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Fashion is a global industry, and plays a role in our economic, political, cultural, and social lives. However, fashion is often denigrated as trivial and superficial, a sign of vanity and narcissism. This Very Short Introduction will give a clear understanding of how fashion has developed while addressing these divergent views.

History A Very Short Introduction

Author : John Arnold
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There are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end. John Arnold's Very Short Introduction is a stimulating essay about how we study and understand history. The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and explores the ways these questions have been answered in the past. Concepts such as causation, interpretation, and periodization, are introduced by means of concrete examples of how historians work, giving the reader a sense of the excitement of discovering not only the past, but also ourselves. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Dante

Author : Peter Hainsworth
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In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Hainsworth and David Robey take a different approach to Dante, by examining the main themes and issues that run through all of his work, ranging from autobiography, to understanding God and the order of the universe. In doing so, they highlight what has made Dante a vital point of reference for modern writers and readers, both inside and outside Italy. They emphasize the distinctive and dynamic interplay in Dante's writing between argument, ideas, and analysis on the one hand, and poetic imagination on the other. Dante was highly concerned with the political and intellectual issues of his time, demonstrated most powerfully in his notorious work, The Divine Comedy. Tracing the tension between the medieval and modern aspects, Hainsworth and Robey provide a clear insight into the meaning of this masterpiece of world literature. They highlight key figures and episodes in the poem, bringing out the originality and power of Dante's writing to help readers understand the problems that Dante wanted his audience to confront but often left up to the reader to resolve. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Christian Art

Author : Beth Williamson
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This work decodes the key themes, signs and symbols found in Christian art - the Eucharist, the Crucifixion, the Virgin Mary. It also explores the theological and historical background of Christian imagery, from the devotional works of the medieval and Renaissance periods, to the 21st century.

English Literature A Very Short Introduction

Author : Jonathan Bate
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English Literature: A Very Short Introduction discusses why literature matters, how narrative works, and what is distinctly English about English literature. Jonathan Bate considers how we determine the content of the field, and looks at the three major kinds of imaginative literature - English poetry, English drama and The English novel.

Shakespeare s Sonnets and Poems a Very Short Introduction

Author : Jonathan F. S. Post
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Not for nothing is William Shakespeare considered possibly the most famous writer in history; his works have had a lasting effect on culture, vocabularies, and art. His plays contain some of our most well-known lines (how often have you heard the phrase 'To be or not to be'?), yet whilst his poems may often feel less familiar than his plays they have also seeped into our cultural history (who has not heard of ''Shall I compare thee to a summer's day'?). In this Very Short Introduction Jonathan Post introduces all of Shakespeare's poetry: the Sonnets; the two great narrative poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece; A Lover's Complaint; and The Phoenix and Turtle. Describing Shakespeare's double identity as both poet and playwright, in conjunction with several of his contemporaries, Post evaluates the reciprocal advantages as well as the different strategies and strains that came with writing for the stage and the page. Tackling the debates surrounding the disputed authorship of Shakespeare's poems, he also considers the printing history of Shakespeare's canon, and the genres favoured by the bard. Exploring their reception, both with contemporary audiences and through the ages until today, Post explores the core themes of love and lust, and analyzes how the sonnets compare with other great love poetry of the English Renaissance. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Garden History A Very Short Introduction

Author : Gordon Campbell
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Gardens take many forms, and have a variety of functions. They can serve as spaces of peace and tranquilty, a way to cultivate wildlife, or as places to develop agricultural resources. Globally, gardens have inspired, comforted, and sustained people from all walks of life, and since the Garden of Eden many iconic gardens have inspired great artists, poets, musicians, and writers. In this Very Short Introduction, Gordon Campbell embraces gardens in all their splendour, from parks, and fruit and vegetable gardens to ornamental gardens, and takes the reader on a globe-trotting historical journey through iconic and cultural signposts of gardens from different regions and traditions. Ranging from the gardens of ancient Persia to modern day allotments, he concludes by looking to the future of the garden in the age of global warming, and the adaptive spirit of human innovation. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Dinosaurs A Very Short Introduction

Author : David Norman
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The popularity of dinosaurs seems never ending, fuelled by films such as Jurassic Par and documentaries (Walking with Dinosaurs). But how much do these popular programmes really tell us about the recent scientific discoveries and the latest research into the world of the dinosaur? This is the first book explain the latest findings in dinosaur research and the exciting scientific discoveries that have built up a picture of how dinosaurs looked, what they ate, and how they moved and interacted with each other. Taking a new approach to the subject, David Norman combines many areas of science, such as anatomy, genetics, forensics and engineering design, to piece together the evidence of how animal life evolved on earth, and why it did in the way that it did. David Norman also discusses the role that informed speculation and luck has played in many of the major discoveries. Starting with ancient myths of dinosaur-like monsters (dragons) and the history of the discovery of dinosaurs, he goes on to discuss their evolution and the many different techniques used to understand them, including the latest virtual reality animation sequences and engineering design analysis. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Scientific Revolution A Very Short Introduction

Author : Lawrence Principe
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Lawrence M. Principe takes a fresh approach to the story of the scientific revolution, emphasising the historical context of the society and its world view at the time. From astronomy to alchemy and medicine to geology, he tells this fascinating story from the perspective of the historical characters involved.

Theatre

Author : Marvin Carlson
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Theatre is one of the longest-standing art forms of modern civilization. Taking a global look at how various forms of theatre - including puppetry, dance, and mime - have been interpreted and enjoyed, this Very Short Introduction explores all aspects of the theatre, including its relationship with religion, literature, and its value worldwide.

Art History a Very Short Introduction

Author : Dana Arnold
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Art history encompasses the study of the history and development of painting, sculpture and the other visual arts. In this Very Short Introduction, Dana Arnold presents an introduction to the issues, debates, and artefacts that make up art history. Beginning with a consideration of what art history is, she explains what makes the subject distinctive from other fields of study, and also explores the emergence of social histories of art (such as Feminist Art History and Queer Art History). Using a wide range of images, she goes on to explore key aspects of the discipline including how we write, present, read, and look at art, and the impact this has on our understanding of art history. This second edition includes a new chapter on global art histories, considering how the traditional emphasis on periods and styles in art originated in western art and can obscure other critical approaches and artwork from non-western cultures. Arnold also discusses the relationship between art and history, and the ways in which art can tell a different history from the one narrated by texts. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Abolitionism

Author : Richard S. Newman
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From early slave rebels to radical reformers of the Civil War era and beyond, the struggle to end slavery was a diverse, dynamic, and ramifying social movement. In this succinct narrative, Richard S. Newman examines the key people, themes, and ideas that animated abolitionism in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries in the United States and internationally. Filled with portraits of key abolitionists - including Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Anthony Benezet, Toussaint L'Ouverture, Elizabeth Heyrick, Richard Allen, and Angelina Grimké - the book highlights abolitionists' focus on social and political action. From the Underground Railroad and legal aid for oppressed people to legislative lobbying and military service, abolitionists employed every conceivable means to attack slavery and racial injustice. Their collective struggles helped bring down slavery - the most powerful economic and political institution of the age - across the Atlantic world and inspired generations of reformers. Sharply written and highly readable, Abolitionism: A Very Short Introduction offers an inspiring portrait of the men and women who dedicated their lives to fighting racial oppression. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Gothic A Very Short Introduction

Author : Nick Groom
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The Gothic is wildly diverse. It can refer to ecclesiastical architecture, supernatural fiction, cult horror films, and a distinctive style of rock music. It has influenced political theorists and social reformers, as well as Victorian home décor and contemporary fashion. Nick Groom shows how the Gothic has come to encompass so many meanings by telling the story of the Gothic from the ancient tribe who sacked Rome to the alternative subculture of the present day. This unique Very Short Introduction reveals that the Gothic has predominantly been a way of understanding and responding to the past. Time after time, the Gothic has been invoked in order to reveal what lies behind conventional history. It is a way of disclosing secrets, whether in the constitutional politics of seventeenth-century England or the racial politics of the United States. While contexts change, the Gothic perpetually regards the past with fascination, both yearning and horrified. It reminds us that neither societies nor individuals can escape the consequences of their actions. The anatomy of the Gothic is richly complex and perversely contradictory, and so the thirteen chapters here range deliberately widely. This is the first time that the entire story of the Gothic has been written as a continuous history: from the historians of late antiquity to the gardens of Georgian England, from the mediaeval cult of the macabre to German Expressionist cinema, from Elizabethan Revenge Tragedy to American consumer society, from folk ballads to vampires, from the past to the present. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Albert Camus

Author : Oliver Gloag
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Albert Camus is one of the best known philosophers of the twentieth century, as well as a widely read novelist. Active in the first half of the twentieth century, his views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism, and his works have inspired numerous movies, and even pop songs, and are frequently referenced in contemporary politics. 0In this Very Short Introduction Oliver Gloag explores the life and work of a man full of contradictions, who occupied an ambiguous position in troubled and conflicted times. A fearless journalist who tirelessly investigated the terrible conditions of people in French-occupied Algeria in the 1930s, Camus also stated that the only salvation for France was to remain an "Arab Power". While he published articles during the German Occupation in a clandestine resistance newspaper, Camus also withdrew a chapter on Kafka to ensure that his philosophical treatise would pass the Nazi-controlled censorship. Over the course of his life he ranged from being strongly in favour of the death penalty to deploring it in his philosophy.. Following a broad chronological framework, Gloag explores the major philosophical and literary works of Camus in the historical context in which they were written and published, and analyses how the reception and popularity of these works are connected with contemporary political, social and cultural issues, shaping the ideological landscape that surrounds us.