From Plato to Postmodernism: The Story of the West Through Philosophy, Literature and Art

London: Bloomsbury (2011)
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From Plato to Postmodernism presents the cultural history of the West in one concise volume. Nearly four thousand years of Western history are woven together into an unfolding story in which we see how movements and individuals contributed to the philosophy, literature and art that have shaped today's world. The story begins with the West's Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian origins, moving through the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment and Romanticism to twenty-first century postmodernity. The author covers key figures such as Moses, Michelangelo, Mozart and Marx, setting them in context and highlighting their main contributions. Illustrations and a comprehensive glossary help explain important terms such as ‘gothic', ‘baroque', ‘stream of consciousness' and ‘the death of God', and clarify movements such as Neoplatonism, Renaissance humanism and existentialism. For students, this book bridges the gap between what is taught in schools and the cultural knowledge required at university, providing an indispensible grounding in the story of Western culture. For all readers, it offers an invitation to take an enjoyable tour through the fascinating history of Western thought, literature and art.



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Christopher Watkin
Monash University

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