Culture, by Martin Puchner

Staff Pick

A timely and invigorating antidote to the quixotic bloviating that characterizes much contemporary debate on inter-cultural dialogue and cultural appropriation, this book foregrounds world culture writ large as “a huge recycling project,” where fierce enemies often turn out to be each other’s most faithful preservationists. Puchner, a ferociously well read and gifted storyteller, takes the reader on a grand and truly global tour of world history, visiting Paleolithic France, pharanoic Egypt, Classical Athens, Vesuvian Pompeii, early-Abbasid Baghdad, Columbian Mesoamerica, medieval Germany, Renaissance Portugal, late-Tokugawa Japan, Revolutionary Haiti, Victorian England, 20th-century Nigeria, and 21st-century Korea, with sojourns in ancient Ethiopia, India, and China. Focusing on morally fraught and often violent moments of cultural exchange, these vivid portraits of art, diplomacy, and travel grant expansive insights into the abounding internal contradictions that come down to us in our shared glorious, corrupted, vital, inspiring, and conflicting traditions. 

Culture: The Story of Us, From Cave Art to K-Pop By Martin Puchner Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393867992
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 7th, 2023