First Contact: Cult of Progress - David OlusogaLondon: Profile Books, 2018, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Previous owners' name & date to the first blank.
Includes: Timeline; Black & white photographs; Colour photographs;
From the cover: “There is nothing simple about the idea of civilisation. It is a concept with multiple and contested meanings. Prefix it with the word ‘western’ and you have a whole new set of problems. Equally thorny is the belief, once commonplace, that civilisation was a singular project, a phenomenon that spread across parts of the world from a single source. As a means to validating colonial adventures in the age of European empires, nations justified their domination of other peoples by claiming they were engaged in a great ‘civilising mission’. Perhaps all that is certain about the concept of civilisation is that its opposite, barbarism, is toxic. In Civilisations, David Olusoga travels the world to piece together the shared histories that link cultures.
In Part One, first Contact, we discover what happened to art in the great Age of Discovery, when civilisations encountered each other for the first time. Although undoubtedly a period of conquest and destruction it was also one of mutual curiosity, global trade and the exchange of ideas.
In Part Two, The Cult of Progress we see how the Industrial Revolution transformed the world, impacting every corner, and every civilisation, from the cotton mills of the Midlands, through Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt, to the demise of both Native American and Maori populations and the advent of photography in Paris in 1839.
Incredible art — both looted and created — are key to understanding our histories.”