Power & Greed

Power & Greed

A Short History of the World

Book - 2002
Average Rating:
1
Rate this:
Gardners
This text deals with the nature of human greed and the eternal quest for power that, in every era and every culture, has determined why world events happened as they did. The author takes the reader on a journey through time, introducing the great rule makers and the rule breakers.

Blackwell North Amer
What is it that has driven human beings throughout history? This book deals with the nature of human greed and the eternal quest for power that, in every era and culture, has determined why world events happened as they did.
Philippe Gigantes takes the reader on a journey through time, introducing the great rule-makers for a just society - such as Moses, Solon, Jesus and Muhammad - and the rule-breakers, or the 'Grand Acquisitors'. It is the latter who use every means fair and foul to acquire more than their share of both power and wealth - from the warring chieftains of early societies to the so-called robber barons of the nineteenth century and, in our own times, the emergence of superpower states. Gigantes focuses on the dramatic consequences of their actions for civilization, from crusades and revolutions to cataclysmic wars, recent events in the United States and a world that is turning into a global village.
This view of world history challenges historical orthodoxy and shows why we have failed to benefit from the lessons of history. Accessible to both historians and general readers, it gives an insight into today's headlines and points the way to a more civilized future.

Publisher: London : Constable, 2002
Description: xiii, 258 p
ISBN: 9781841195537
1841195537
Branch Call Number: 909 Gig

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

z
zipread
Nov 24, 2011

Power and Greed by Philippe Gigantes.

At first, I thought this was a book that takes itself seriously. There’s a vintage cartoon from Punch showing Napoleon and some English fop carving the globe up into spheres of influence as though it were some kind of colossal ham: an illustration of greed and power if ever there was one.

I started reading this book expecting it to be a real work of history. It had the trappings of a serious work. It had an extensive bibliography, something you don’t see too often.

The concept Gigantes claims to intend to explore, the concept of the grand aquisitors, those who change or break the rules to their own benefit. Frankly, another name for this book could just as easily have been: “History’s Biggest Bastards”. And many of history’s biggest “acquisitors” are to be met in this book. There’s Mao Tse Tung and Martin Luther; Napoleon and Confucious. The concept sounded like a good basis for a work of history.

But pretty soon the negative baggage started to pile up. This book is by turns flippant and almost juvenile. It often rushes through events as though they were nothing more than a series of accidents in time, a kind of historical shopping list, a kind of play-by-play at a Leafs game.

This book is almost like a grade ten history essay: lots of people and events are kind of free-floating, not connected, to the rest of the flow of events in time. The context is missing.
You’ve got to wonder whether Gigantes takes his history seriously. When was the last time you encountered a book purporting to be serious history written, (by mistake?) in the first person.

A junior student contemplating setting out to research Jesus or Justinian would find a nicely written chapter but much of what is written is written, must be written, in a kind of tongue-in-cheek humour that could get that poor student into a good bit of trouble.

This book comes with ringing endorsements on the cover but then you gotta remember, it’s the publisher and author that get to pick them. A second opinion is advised.
The book is amusing in a simple kind of way.

As for me, I gave the book a disgusted heave-ho.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at BPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top