Trends of Civilization and Culture

Trends of Civilization and Culture

Trends of Civilization and Culture

Trends of Civilization and Culture

Excerpt

A study of civilization is no novelty. From the beginning of human history, if not in the pre-historic period, man has shown such interest in himself as to record his deeds and thoughts. Hence the concern for civilization shown by our contemporaries is not wholly different from that of fossil men in the geologic past, while the enthusiasm that Americans feel for their cities is fairly well matched by similar emotions in the hearts of Aurignacian men, who were proud of their caves.

In addition to recording his activities, man has rationalized them; hence we have the intensive studies of civilization as found in the writings of Polybius and St. Augustine, Hegel and Spengler, to say nothing of certain impressionistic works which have appeared since the World War. In the present work, it has been the intention of the author to come to an understanding with the present, although not to the extent of discussing "what's wrong with the world" or "what this country needs."

The pursuit of the present, as carried on in the following pages, has necessitated a consideration of the past even unto the formation of the planet whereon civilization has been set up. For the civilization that is now bearing fruits both bitter and sweet is deeply rooted in the past. The range of this book is that of western civilization although, as will appear toward the close of it, the East has not been overlooked.

The sources of this study of civilization and culture have been varied but none too many and they have been duly noted. But in addition to aid from books, the author has been helped by certain of his colleagues at New York University. He is indebted to the following scholars for material assistance in the connections mentioned: Floyd A. Spencer, Ph.D., Greek Culture and Roman Civilization; Charles C. Thach, Ph.D., Feudal Civilization; G. Roland Collins, A.M., The Economic View of Civilization; Albert Sheppard, A.M., The Industrial Form of Civilization; Younghill Kang, Sc.B., The Eastern Question; Rudolph M. Binder, Ph.D., The Present Outlook; Vincent Jones, A.M. . . .

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