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Freedom: Volume I: Freedom In The Making Of Western Culture

Freedom: Volume I: Freedom In The Making Of Western Culture
Author: Orlando Patterson
ISBN 13: 9780465025329
ISBN 10: 465025323
Edition: Revised ed.
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 1992-10-14
Format: Paperback
Pages: 512
List Price: $24.00

"This magisterial work traces the history of our most cherished value. Patterson links the birth of freedom in primitive societies with the institution of slavery, and traces the evolution of three for"

Publishers Weekly

How did freedom--personal, civic and political--become such a powerful value in the Western world? According to this groundbreaking study, the interaction among masters, slaves, serfs and native nonslaves in ancient times gave rise to both the concept of freedom and a commitment to it. Harvard sociology professor Patterson argues that male, small-time farmers, through their relations with large-scale, slaveholding counterparts, gave birth to civic freedom as a value. He further contends that it was women who invented the ideal of personal freedom, which was closely linked to justice, and being true to oneself and to ``significant others.'' Challenging conventional readings of the so-called Dark Ages, Patterson holds that chords of freedom resounded through the medieval period. First half of a projected two-volume opus, this intellectually rich work redefines a whole field of inquiry as it ranges over Greek tragedy and philosophy, Roman history, the emergence of Christianity, and medieval secular and religious thought. (June)