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Black Athena


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Winner of the American Book Award and a Socialist Review Book Award. What is classical about Classical Civilization? In one of the most audacious works of scholarship ever written, Martin Bernal challenges the whole basis of our thinking about this question.

About the Author

Martin Bernal is Professor Emeritus of Government Studies at Cornell University, specialising in ancient African civilisations and origins of Western civilisations. He was educated at Darrington and King's College, Cambridge, where he was a research fellow and tutor. He has published widely on modern Chinese history.


"His account is as gripping a tale of scholarly detection and discovery as one could hope to find" -- Margaret Drabble Observer "Bernal makes an exotic interloper in Classical studies. He comes to them with two outstanding gifts: a remarkable flair for the sociology - perhaps one should say politics - of knowledge, and a formidable linguistic proficiency... The 'fabrication' of Ancient Greece...will never pass as a natural identity again" Guardian "The value of the book lies in his massive and meticulous demonstration of how scholarly views of the past are moulded (and repeatedly modified) by the changing political environment in which scholars pass their lives... Black Athena is certainly a stimulus to thought" London Review of Books "Has the virtues of force, clarity, wealth of ideas and a voracious intellectual curiosity" Times Higher Educational Supplement "A swashbuckling foray into the very heart of racist, Eurocentric historiography... Already one can hear the knives being sharpened against Bernal" City Limits

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