Central Asia's Golden Age from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane
Author: S. Frederick Starr
Publisher: Princeton University Press
In this sweeping and richly illustrated history, S. Frederick Starr tells the fascinating but largely unknown story of Central Asia's medieval enlightenment through the eventful lives and astonishing accomplishments of its greatest minds--remarkable figures who built a bridge to the modern world. Because nearly all of these figures wrote in Arabic, they were long assumed to have been Arabs. In fact, they were from Central Asia--drawn from the Persianate and Turkic peoples of a region that today extends from Kazakhstan southward through Afghanistan, and from the easternmost province of Iran through Xinjiang, China. Lost Enlightenment recounts how, between the years 800 and 1200, Central Asia led the world in trade and economic development, the size and sophistication of its cities, the refinement of its arts, and, above all, in the advancement of knowledge in many fields. Central Asians achieved signal breakthroughs in astronomy, mathematics, geology, medicine, chemistry, music, social science, philosophy, and theology, among other subjects. They gave algebra its name, calculated the earth's diameter with unprecedented precision, wrote the books that later defined European medicine, and penned some of the world's greatest poetry. One scholar, working in Afghanistan, even predicted the existence of North and South America--five centuries before Columbus. Rarely in history has a more impressive group of polymaths appeared at one place and time. No wonder that their writings influenced European culture from the time of St. Thomas Aquinas down to the scientific revolution, and had a similarly deep impact in India and much of Asia. Lost Enlightenment chronicles this forgotten age of achievement, seeks to explain its rise, and explores the competing theories about the cause of its eventual demise. Informed by the latest scholarship yet written in a lively and accessible style, this is a book that will surprise general readers and specialists alike.
Sumarah is a philosophy, a form of meditation, and a way of life originating from Java. It is a path of the heart, of no effort, of no form - a path of surrender. Sumarah guides the practitioner towards deep relaxation of body, feeling, and mind. This is the first step in the process of personal transformation and awakening the inner teacher. In her book, Laura Romano draws on her own extensive personal experience - nourished by the meditation practice that she was introduced to and trained in from her first years in Java - in describing her frequent meetings with the many Javanese masters then still alive. To better illustrate the principles of the Sumarah tradition, she relates stories from her own journey, vividly recreating the relaxed and warm atmosphere of meditation meetings in the homes of various meditation teachers.
This book tackles an obvious yet profound problem of modern political life: the disorientation of intellectuals and activists on the left. As the study of political history and theory has been usurped by cultural criticism, a confusion over the origins
Armed with the insights of the scientific revolution, the men of the Enlightenment set out to free mankind from its age-old cocoon of pessimism and superstition and establish a more reasonable world of experiment and progress. Yet by the 1760s, this optimism about man and society had almost evaporated. In the works of Rousseau, Kant and Goethe, there was discernible a new inner voice, and an awareness of individual uniqueness which had eluded their more self-confident predecessors. The stage was set for the revolutionary crisis and the rise of Romanticism. In this book, Norman Hampson follows through certain dominant themes in the Enlightenment, and describes the contemporary social and political climate, in which ideas could travel from the salons of Paris to the court of Catherine the Great - but less easily from a master to his servant. On such vexed issues as the role of ideas in the "rise of the middle class" he provides a new and realistic approach linking intellectual and social history.
Following the devastating Mongol conquest of Baghdad in 1258, the domination of the Abbasids declined leading to successor polities, chiefly among them the Ilkhanate in Greater Iran, Iraq and the Caucasus. Iranian cultural identities were reinstated within the lands that make up today's Iran, including the area of greater Khorasan. The Persian language gained unprecedented currency over Arabic and new buildings and manuscripts were produced for princely patrons with aspirations to don the Iranian crown of kingship. This new volume in “The Idea of Iran” series follows the complexities surrounding the cultural reinvention of Iran after the Mongol invasions, but the book is unique capturing not only the effects of Mongol rule but also the period following the collapse of Mongol-based Ilkhanid rule. By the mid-1330s the Ilkhanate in Iran was succeeded by alternative models of authority and local Iranian dynasties. This led to the proliferation of diverse and competing cultural, religious and political practices but so far scholarship has neglected to produce an analysis of this multifaceted history in any depth. Iran After the Mongols offers new and cutting-edge perspectives on what happened. Analysing the fourteenth century in its own right, Sussan Babaie and her fellow contributors capture the cultural complexity of an era that produced some of the most luminous masterpieces in Persian literature and the most significant new building work in Tabriz, Yazd, Herat and Shiraz. Featuring contributions by leading scholars, this is a wide-ranging treatment of an under-researched period and the volume will be essential reading for scholars of Iranian Studies and Middle Eastern History.
Canadian Social Welfare through the Life of Jane B. Wisdom, 1884-1975
Author: Suzanne Morton
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Category: Social Science
One of Canada’s first social workers, Jane B. Wisdom had an active career in social welfare that spanned almost the first half of the twentieth century. Competent, thoughtful, and trusted, she had a knack for being in important places at pivotal moments. Wisdom’s transnational career took her from Saint John to Montreal, New York City, Halifax, and Glace Bay, as well as into almost every field of social work. Her story offers a remarkable opportunity to uncover what life was like for front-line social workers in the profession’s early years. In Wisdom, Justice, and Charity, historian Suzanne Morton uses Wisdom’s professional life to explore how the welfare state was built from the ground up by thousands of pragmatic and action-oriented social workers. Wisdom’s career illustrates the impact of professionalization, gender, and changing notions of the state – not just on those in the emergent profession of social work but also on those in need. Her life and career stand as a potent allegory for the limits and possibilities of individual action.
During the summer of 1916, approximately 270,000 Central Asians—Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, Turkmen, and Uzbeks—perished at the hands of the Russian army in a revolt that began with resistance to the Tsar’s World War I draft. In addition to those killed outright, tens of thousands of men, women, and children died while trying to escape over treacherous mountain passes into China. Experts calculate that the Kyrgyz, who suffered most heavily, lost 40% of their total population. This horrific incident was nearly lost to history. During the Soviet era, the massacre of 1916 became a taboo subject, hidden in sealed archives and banished from history books. Edward Dennis Sokol’s pioneering Revolt of 1916 in Russian Central Asia, published in 1954 and reissued now for the first time in decades, was for generations the only scholarly study of the massacre in any language. Drawing on early Soviet periodicals, including Krasnyi Arkhiv ( The Red Archive), Sokol’s wide-ranging and exhaustively researched work explores the Tsarist policies that led to Russian encroachment against the land and rights of the indigenous Central Asian people. It describes the corruption that permeated Russian colonial rule and argues that the uprising was no mere draft riot, but a revolt against Tsarist colonialism in all its dimensions: economic, political, religious, and national. Sokol’s masterpiece also traces the chain reaction between the uprising, the collapse of Tsarism, and the Bolshevik Revolution. A classic study of a vanished world, Sokol's work takes on contemporary resonance in light of Vladimir Putin’s heavy-handed efforts to persuade Kyrgyzstan to join his new economic union. Sokol explains how an earlier Russian conquest ended in disaster and implies that a modern conquest might have the same effect. Essential reading for historians, political scientists, and policymakers, this reissued edition is being published to coincide with the centennial observation of the genocide.
Vartanian (1922-97) offered this set of three essays to the series editors just before he died and had no opportunity to write a general introduction explaining the direction they take. However, they were deemed to be a major contribution to the study of the French Enlightenment and are presented as