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Seller: ancientgifts (4,777) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122999725245 Inventing The Middle Ages: The Lives, Works, and Ideas of the Great Medievalists of the Twentieth Century by Norman F. Cantor. DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 477 pages. Publisher: William Morrow and Company, Inc; (1991). Our images of the Middle Ages, of wars, tournaments, and plagues; of kings and saints, of knights and ladies; are so vivid that it might be difficult to believe that they are recently minted. However in this ground-breaking work, Norman F. Cantor explains that our current notion of the Middle Ages as an epoch is new, born of the twentieth century, when European and American scholars looked back from their own war-ravaged times and discovered another unique and troubled culture in the era between the fall of Rome and the rise of the Renaissance. In their hands, the century's great intellectual constructs, modernism, formalism, and the rest, became instruments of revelation, uncovering the roots of modern social institutions and cultural traditions in the Middle Ages. The medieval world was therefore not simply excavated through systematic research. It had to be conceptually created, emotionally confronted, artistically modeled. It had to be invented. This book is the story of that invention through the telling of the lives and works of twenty of the great medievalists of this century. The scholars who are the focus of this book fashioned their interpretations of the Middle Ages out of the emotional wellsprings of their lives. For example, the Oxford fantasists C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, working in the ruins of the British Empire, envisaged alternative morally ordered and inspiring worlds. Percy Schramm and Ernst Kantorowicz were Nazis. Schramm was close to Hitler and published his warm memories of the Fuhrer in 1963. Kantorowicz tried to cover up his earlier fascist politics after he accepted a position at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies. Both, not surprisingly, studied medieval kingship. Marc Bloch, a Jew who died fighting for the French Resistance, no doubt reflected his own bitter experiences when he wrote about class structure in the Middle Ages. David Knowles, a British Catholic priest with a secret mistress, inevitably highlighted the medieval church's ambiguous sense of individuality. Princeton's Joseph Strayer eulogized medieval bureaucrats and militarists while working intensively for the CIA. And Sir Richard Southern uniquely combined Oxbridge prejudices and rigidities with a lyrical, original insight into the subtleties of medieval sensibility. This book is an evocation of the romance and drama of cultural detective work, in the mold of the classic "Gods, Graves and Scholars", and a warm animated review of the intellectual history of the twentieth century. Norman F. Cantor was Emeritus Professor of History, Sociology, and Comparative Literature at New York University. His academic honors include appointments as a Rhodes Scholar, Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellow at Princeton University, and Fulbright Professor at Tel Aviv University. His many books include the New York Times bestseller "In the Wake of the Plague", "Antiquity", "Inventing the Middle Ages", which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and "The Civilization of the Middle Ages", the most widely read narrative of the Middle Ages in the English language. CONDITION: There is underlining on two pages, otherwise in Great Like New condition. Looks like someone read the first few dozen pages and then shelved the book, never to finish reading it. Except for the tiny bit of underlining, the book could pass for new. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: In this ground-breaking work, Norman Cantor explains how our current notion of the Middle Ages, with its vivid images of wars, tournaments, plagues, saints and kings, knights and ladies, was born in the twentieth century. The medieval world was not simply excavated through systematic research. It had to be conceptually created. It had to be invented, and this is the story of that invention. Norman Cantor focuses on the lives and works of twenty of the great medievalists of this century, demonstrating how the events of their lives, and their spiritual and emotional outlooks, influenced their interpretations of the Middle Ages. Cantor makes their scholarship an intensely personal and passionate exercise, full of color and controversy, displaying the strong personalities and creative minds that brought new insights about the past. A revolution in academic method, this book is a breakthrough to a new way of teaching the humanities and historiography, to be enjoyed by student and general public alike. It takes an immense body of learning and transmits it so that readers come away fully informed of the essentials of the subject, perceiving the interconnection of medieval civilization with the culture of the twentieth century and having had a good time while doing it! This is a riveting, entertaining, humorous, and learned read, compulsory for anyone concerned about the past and future of Western civilization. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Tracing the "quest" for the Middle Ages, Professor Cantor has drafted a riveting chapter of twentieth-century intellectual history. In this penetrating, opinionated, colorful study, Cantor paints sharp portraits of 20 modern medievalists; some heroes, some "authoritarian egoists", whose research has formed our vision of the Middle Ages. Delving into their psyches and explaining their brilliance and influence, Cantor shows that the writing of history is inextricably bound to the present, that historians like C.S. Lewis, Joseph Strayer (Eisenhower-era Princeton professor who worked for the CIA), or French Resistance hero Marc Bloch projected their personalities and the wider sociopolitical context onto their work. Percy Ernst Schramm and Ernst Kantorowicz's studies of medieval "kingship," written in 1920's Heidelberg, reflect their elitism (Cantor calls them "The Nazi Twins") and the anxieties of the unstable Weimar Republic, just as Frederic Maitland's work on English law breathes the modernism of Eliot and Kandinsky. Passionately involved in the field, Cantor confesses his biases and disappointments-e.g., that his Oxford don Richard Southern ("The Making of the Middle Ages") failed to attain the pervasive influence of Marc Bloch, whose Feudal Society was the last half-century's other "most influential" book on medieval history. Never shy to label or judge, or to discuss the dark side of human motivation, Cantor claims that Bloch's "heritage of sanctity....was exploited to build a power-base for his Annalist colleagues and disciples." The Middle Ages, Cantor convincingly contends, has deep affinities to the 20th century not only in heritage (church, university, Anglo-American law, etc.) but as "the secret sharer of our dreams and anxieties." His final, fiery call for a "retromedievalism" that "reasserts the freedom of civil society" is extreme but provocative. Engrossing, insightful, and bound to ruffle in its characterizations and its claim for the Middle Ages as central to the struggle to understand our own age. REVIEW: This book is much broader in scope than the title would imply. Part historiography, part biographical sketches, and part personal memoir, it explores the lives of the 20 scholars (19 men and one woman) whom Cantor perceives as "the great medievalists" of the period 1895-1965. His thesis is that Wilsonian idealism, World War II, the Nazi Holocaust, and the Cold War shaped the world views and the interpretations of the European and American scholars studying the Middle Ages. The book is based on Cantor's frequently brilliant, sometimes fanciful (he knew seven personally) analysis of the scholars' works; their obituary notices; and his memory of conversations that took place 40 or more years ago. Strong on the historians (predictably, since Cantor is a historian), respectable on the literary scholars, weak on the art historians, the book contains a mine of information, much of it anecdotal, about those discussed. Bristling with prejudices, judgments, and predictions, clever and witty in style, it will command a wide audience in both academia and the informed reading public. REVIEW: No reader of Norman Cantor's "Inventing the Middle Ages" will ever again believe that historiography must be a dismal science, answering questions no one asks. With all the sophistication of a sociological and psychological theory, and none of the jargon, Professor Cantor provides brilliant portraits of the lives and works of the often unsaintly masters who shaped modern conceptions of the medieval world. This is a great story, full of color and controversy, recounted by Cantor with the imagination and erudition characteristic of his subjects. Not only does it provide a unique view of modern fascination with the Middle Ages, it also reveals much about late nineteenth and twentieth century culture. REVIEW: Norman Cantwell's "Inventing the Middle Ages" is one of those rare books at once intellectually stimulating as well as scholarly. It will annoy, anger, arouse bitterness, and at the same time capture the interest of its readers. Its insights are often brilliant, its judgments are often acidulous, the writing always clear and readable. It is an important and exciting book which will be read and talked about both in and out of academia. This is compulsory reading for any medievalist and for everybody concerned about the past, and the future of Western civilization. It is also outrageous: sharp, personal, daring, and thought provoking. REVIEW: To 19th-century romantics, the Middle Ages were a justification for aesthetic passion and communal feeling. In contrast, the 20th century's picture of the Middle Ages stresses its synthesis of faith and reason, charismatic leadership of saints and heroes, formalist attitude to art and literature, and ideas of divine and human love. These constructs, argues New York University medievalist Cantor, are the product of such influential medievalists as Frederic Maitland, Erwin Panofsky, C. S. Lewis and Richard Southern. His sometimes provocative study combines intimate profiles of 20 medievalists with an assessment of the impact of their ideas on our image of the Middle Ages. Cantor unravels the "common man's ethos" in J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" and discusses Eileen Power's searing indictment of the Middle Ages' marginalization of women. He invents his own Middle Ages: one that tells us to reject the "regulatory and welfare state"' and reassert the values of civil society and "tough love". REVIEW: Today we view the Middle Ages as a distinct era, but surprisingly, this notion is new, born of the 20th century, when scholars looked back from their own war-ravaged times and discovered a unique culture hidden in what had seemed a historical void. This is the story of that discovery, of the lives of 20 scholars, including Tolkien and Lewis, who first conjured up the spirit of that world. This is a wonderful, behind-the-scenes account which explains why the Middle Ages continue to play so well. Full of information, insight, and shop talk, it fills the gap between our knowledge of the past and our feelings about it. REVIEW: Cantor's exciting scholarship, peripatetic career, and his admiration of intellectual heroism which elevated pivotal scholars of the medieval panorama above their often amusing and sometimes tragic human foibles have allowed him to give us a major work of historiography and cultural anthropology. Intriguing, informative, irritating, and vastly entertaining. "Inventing the Middle ages" will rattle lots of cages. Professor Cantor has written a fascinating book. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: The medieval world was therefore not simply excavated through systematic research. It had to be conceptually created, emotionally confronted, artistically modeled. It had to be invented. The author suggests that the image we have of the middle ages was invented during the 20th century by scholars to explain modern life. This book is the story of that invention, of twenty of the great medievalists of this century and the founding era of medieval studies from 1895 to about 1965. The book, through the lives, works, and ideas of the great medievalists, and is an evaluation of their continuing impact into the twenty-first century, on how the European Middle Ages are interpreted. REVIEW: Focuses on the lives and works of twenty of the great medievalists of this century, demonstrating how the events of their lives, and their spiritual and emotional outlooks, influenced their interpretations of the Middle Ages. A riveting, entertaining, humorous, and learned read, compulsory for anyone concerned about the past and future of Western civilization. Cantor's book provides a good overview of the subject of the Middle Ages, and I recommend it for anyone starting out on this subject. Also noteworthy is the wonderful bibliography suggesting further readings on the subject matter. REVIEW: If you were a history major like I at the University of Delaware in the late 70's, you discovered that your love of the subject is soon yanked away and replaced by something called historiography. This is dismaying, because instead of reading history, you are sent to the library to look up historians. You have to write long papers about who said what and why, which makes you drink Schmidt's beer to excess. You start writing bad poems, because you can't stand to read poorly-written analyses of other people's writing. If you wanted to do that, you could have been an English major. I only wish this book had been out in 1978. Cantor writes well, has encyclopedic knowledge of his subject, has a sense of humor (which some people are mistaking for bitterness) and is not afraid to take a stand. His chapter on the Oxford Fantastists is excellent, informative, and something anyone interested in our current culture ought to read, since Tolkein and Lewis did much to form it. Cantor's book is really creative non-fiction; the use of novelistic techniques in a non-fiction narrative, which to me, makes the book more readable, interesting, and more accurate. If you've spent no time around universities, then you can't understand how their internal politics shape thought and education, which Cantor shows perfectly well here. REVIEW: As a Catholic growing up in the predominantly WASP world of 1950s American South, I was taught that the era in which my church played a major role in European History was called the "Dark Ages", and that it was marked with ignorance, filth, idolatry, and barbarity that was only overcome with the rise of rational thought, commercialism, and neoclassicism. A few years ago, I set out to learn the truth, to study the period now known as the Middle Ages. Medievalist scholars pretty much agree the Middle Ages include the thousand or so years following the fall of Rome (about 500 A.D.) to the revival of rationalism, Roman law, bureaucracies, and neoclassical art known as the Italian Renaissance. In his book, Norman Cantor distills the work of many leading scholars in Europe and America writing during the latter part of the 19th and through the 20th centuries. He organizes their work into various schools of thought including legalists, propagandists, revolutionaries, fantasists, formalists, outriders and others. He says the task these scholars undertook was to conceptually and operationally define or "invent" the Middle Ages by addressing several questions. What sources lead to the rise and dominance of Western society? How did a legal system that still exists today emerge (i.e. in the Commonwealth of Virginia and other U.S. states as well as England)? How did kings govern without bureaucracies? How did the labor and aspirations of peasants and the ambitions and bellicosity of aristocrats lead to the respect for the authenticity of common man? How did the various structures of the Roman Empire precondition Medieval philosophy? How did the shift from God the Father to God the Loving Son lead to humanism? How did the church function with hierarchical authority on one side and evangelical groups and individual piety on the other? Cantor provides a good overview of the thinking of the past 120 years or so. He covers many well known historians, such as Maitland, Kantorowitz, Panofsky, C.S. Lewis, and his own mentor the Professor R. W. Southern. He includes the followers of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim in the section the "French Jews" which includes essays on Braudel and Bloch. Cantor says the book "Feudal Society" by Mark Bloch is one of the best ever written about the Middle Ages. He has many negative comments about "The Waning of the Middle Ages" by the Dutch writer Huizinga, but Cantor undoubtedly read the older less accurate translation. A new translation of Huizinga's work is titled "Autumn in the Middle Ages" and its thesis is somewhat different from that found in the older translation. 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If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." Title: Inventing The Middle Ages, Subtitle: The Lives, Works, and Ideas of the Great Medievali

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