Plough, Sword and Book

By Ernest Gellner,

Book cover of Plough, Sword and Book: The Structure of Human History

Book description

"Philosophical anthropology on the grandest scale. . . .Gellner has produced a sharp challenge to his colleagues and a thrilling book for the non-specialist. Deductive history on this scale cannot be proved right or wrong, but this is Gellner writing, incisive, iconoclastic, witty and expert. His scenario compels our attention."—Adam…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Plough, Sword and Book as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I love this unique book. Written by a philosopher who was equally an anthropologist, it presents a bird’s eye view of the structure of human history. This is not a subject most scholars have the knowledge or the courage to tackle!

Gellner has both. He paints a picture of the three eras of human history that is hard to deny, in the process analyzing the core logic of each era for the people who lived in it. This sets the stage for understanding what a new kind of world we live in today. Gellner also had a wicked sense of…

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