One of the most distinguished social scientists in the world addresses one of the central historical questions of the past millennium: does the European Renaissance deserve its unique status at the very heart of our tions of modernity? Jack Goody scrutinises the European model in relation to parallel renaissances that have taken place in other cultural areas, primarily Islam and China, and emphasises what Europe owed to n-European influences. Renaissances continues that strand of historical analysis critical of Eurocentrism that Goody has developed in recent works like The East and the West (1996) or The Theft of History (2006). This book is wide-ranging, powerful, deftly argued, and draws upon the author's long experience of working in Africa and elsewhere. Not since Toynbee in The Study of History has anybody attempted quite what Jack Goody is undertaking in Renaissances, and the result is as accessible as it is ambitious.
Jack Goody is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John's College. Recently knighted by Her Majesty The Queen for services to anthropology, Professor Goody has researched and taught all over the world, is a Fellow of the British Academy and in 1980 was made a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.