The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World

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The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World
Title The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World
Author
Publisher Basic Books
Release DateNovember 10, 2020
Category History
Total Pages 320 pages
ISBN 1541617606
Book Rating 4.7 out of 5 from 19 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, explore the global history of textiles and the world they weave together in this enthralling and educational guide. The story of humanity is the story of textiles -- as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture. In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo's David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code. Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world's most influential commodity.

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The Fabric Of Civilization by Virginia Postrel

Title The Fabric of Civilization
Author Virginia Postrel
Publisher Basic Books
Release Date 2020-11-10
Category History
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781541617612
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, explore the global history of textiles and the world they weave together in this enthralling and educational guide. The story of humanity is the story of textiles -- as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture. In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo's David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code. Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world's most influential commodity.

The Fabric Of Civilization by Virginia Postrel

Title The Fabric of Civilization
Author Virginia Postrel
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2021-12-07
Category
Total Pages 320
ISBN 1541617622
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From Neanderthal string to 3D knitting, an "expansive" global history that highlights "how textiles truly changed the world" (Wall Street Journal) The story of humanity is the story of textiles--as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture. In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo's David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code. Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world's most influential commodity. "We are taken on a journey as epic, and varying, as the Silk Road itself.... [The Fabric of Civilization is] like a swatch of a Florentine Renaissance brocade: carefully woven, the technique precise, the colors a mix of shade and shine and an accurate representation of the whole cloth." --New York Times "Textile-making hasn't gotten enough credit for its own sophistication, and for all the ways it undergirds human technological innovation--an error Virginia Postrel's erudite and complete book goes a long way toward correcting at last." --Wired

The Fabric Of Civilization by Virginia Postrel

Title The Fabric of Civilization
Author Virginia Postrel
Publisher Hachette UK
Release Date 2020-11-10
Category History
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781541617612
Language English, Spanish, and French
GET BOOK
Book Summary:

From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, explore the global history of textiles and the world they weave together in this enthralling and educational guide. The story of humanity is the story of textiles -- as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture. In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo's David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code. Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world's most influential commodity.

Title Women s Work The First 20 000 Years Women Cloth and Society in Early Times
Author Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date 1995-09-17
Category Social Science
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9780393285581
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"A fascinating history of…[a craft] that preceded and made possible civilization itself." —New York Times Book Review New discoveries about the textile arts reveal women's unexpectedly influential role in ancient societies. Twenty thousand years ago, women were making and wearing the first clothing created from spun fibers. In fact, right up to the Industrial Revolution the fiber arts were an enormous economic force, belonging primarily to women. Despite the great toil required in making cloth and clothing, most books on ancient history and economics have no information on them. Much of this gap results from the extreme perishability of what women produced, but it seems clear that until now descriptions of prehistoric and early historic cultures have omitted virtually half the picture. Elizabeth Wayland Barber has drawn from data gathered by the most sophisticated new archaeological methods—methods she herself helped to fashion. In a "brilliantly original book" (Katha Pollitt, Washington Post Book World), she argues that women were a powerful economic force in the ancient world, with their own industry: fabric.

Fabric Of Civilization by Virginia Postrel

Title Fabric of Civilization
Author Virginia Postrel
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2020-11-10
Category
Total Pages 368
ISBN 1541617606
Language English, Spanish, and French
GET BOOK
Book Summary:

From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, a global history of textiles and the world they made The story of humanity is the story of textiles -- as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture. In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo's David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code. Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world's most influential commodity.

The Pocket by Barbara Burman

Title The Pocket
Author Barbara Burman
Publisher Yale University Press
Release Date 2020-04-24
Category Design
Total Pages 264
ISBN 9780300253740
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times Best Art Book of 2019 “A riveting book . . . few stones are left unturned.”—Roberta Smith’s “Top Art Books of 2019,” The New York Times This fascinating and enlightening study of the tie-on pocket combines materiality and gender to provide new insight into the social history of women’s everyday lives—from duchesses and country gentry to prostitutes and washerwomen—and to explore their consumption practices, sociability, mobility, privacy, and identity. A wealth of evidence reveals unexpected facets of the past, bringing women’s stories into intimate focus. “What particularly interests Burman and Fennetaux is the way in which women of all classes have historically used these tie-on pockets as a supplementary body part to help them negotiate their way through a world that was not built to suit them.”—Kathryn Hughes, The Guardian “A brilliant book.”—Ulinka Rublack, Times Literary Supplement

The Substance Of Style by Virginia Postrel

Title The Substance of Style
Author Virginia Postrel
Publisher Harper Collins
Release Date 2009-03-17
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9780061852862
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Whether it's sleek leather pants, a shiny new Apple computer, or a designer toaster, we make important decisions as consumers every day based on our sensory experience. Sensory appeals are everywhere, and they are intensifying, radically changing how Americans live and work. The twenty-first century has become the age of aesthetics, and whether we realize it or not, this influence has taken over the marketplace, and much more. In this penetrating, keenly observed book, Virginia Postrel makes the argument that appearance counts, that aesthetic value is real. Drawing from fields as diverse as fashion, real estate, politics, design, and economics, Postrel deftly chronicles our culture's aesthetic imperative and argues persuasively that it is a vital component of a healthy, forward-looking society. Intelligent, incisive, and thought-provoking, The Substance of Style is a groundbreaking portrait of the democratization of taste and a brilliant examination of the way we live now.

Threads Of Life by Clare Hunter

Title Threads of Life
Author Clare Hunter
Publisher Sceptre
Release Date 2019-02-07
Category Crafts & Hobbies
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781473687943
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

**SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER** **RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK** **WATERSTONES SCOTTISH BOOK OF THE MONTH** 'An astonishing feat' Christina Patterson, Sunday Times 'An inspiring and moving sideways look at history' Eithne Farry, Sunday Express An eloquent blend of history and memoir, Threads of Life is an evocative and moving book about the need we all have to tell our story. From political propaganda in medieval France to secret treason in Tudor England, from the mothers of the desaparecidos in Argentina to First World War soldiers with PTSD, from a POW camp in Singapore to a family attic in Scotland, Threads of Life is a global chronicle of identity, protest, memory and politics. Banner-maker, community textile artist and textile curator Clare Hunter chronicles the stories of the men and women, over centuries and across continents, who have used the language of sewing to make their voices heard, even in the most desperate of circumstances. 'A beautifully considered book... Clare Hunter has managed to mix the personal with the political with moving results.' TRACY CHEVALIER

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Release Date 2022-01-25
Category History
Total Pages 400
ISBN 9781524748401
Language English, Spanish, and French
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A sweeping and captivatingly told history of clothing and the stuff it is made of—an unparalleled deep-dive into how everyday garments have transformed our lives, our societies, and our planet “Thanhauser . . . examines the effect of clothes on our environment, politics and even our ethics . . . admirable, meticulously researched . . . [and] makes us pay attention.” —The Wall Street Journal In this panoramic social history, Sofi Thanhauser brilliantly tells five stories—Linen, Cotton, Silk, Synthetics, Wool—about the clothes we wear and where they come from, illuminating our world in unexpected ways. She takes us from the opulent court of Louis XIV to the labor camps in modern-day Chinese-occupied Xinjiang. We see how textiles were once dyed with lichen, shells, bark, saffron, and beetles, displaying distinctive regional weaves and knits, and how the modern Western garment industry has refashioned our attire into the homogenous and disposable uniforms popularized by fast-fashion brands. Thanhauser makes clear how the clothing industry has become one of the planet’s worst polluters and how it relies on chronically underpaid and exploited laborers. But she also shows us how micro-communities, textile companies, and clothing makers in every corner of the world are rediscovering ancestral and ethical methods for making what we wear. Drawn from years of intensive research and reporting from around the world, and brimming with fascinating stories, Worn reveals to us that our clothing comes not just from the countries listed on the tags or ready-made from our factories. It comes, as well, from deep in our histories.

Looking At Textiles by Elena Phipps

Title Looking at Textiles
Author Elena Phipps
Publisher Getty Publications
Release Date 2011
Category Art
Total Pages 94
ISBN 9781606060803
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Textiles have been made and used by every culture throughout history. However diverse—whether an ancient Egyptian mummy wrapping, a Turkish carpet, an Italian velvet, or an American quilt—all textiles have basic elements in common. They are made of fibers, constructed into forms, and patterned and colored in ways that follow certain principles. Looking at Textiles serves as a guide to the fundamentals of the materials and techniques used to create textiles. The selected technical terms explain what textiles are, how they are made, and what they are made of, and include definitions of terms relating to fibers, dyes, looms and weaving, and patterning processes. The many illustrations, including macro- and microscale photographs of a range of ancient and historic museum textiles, demonstrate the features described in the text.

The National Road by Tom Zoellner

Title The National Road
Author Tom Zoellner
Publisher Catapult
Release Date 2020-10-13
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 272
ISBN 9781640092914
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This collection of "eloquent essays that examine the relationship between the American landscape and the national character" serves to remind us that despite our differences we all belong to the same land (Publishers Weekly). “How was it possible, I wondered, that all of this American land––in every direction––could be fastened together into a whole?” What does it mean when a nation accustomed to moving begins to settle down, when political discord threatens unity, and when technology disrupts traditional ways of building communities? Is a shared soil enough to reinvigorate a national spirit? From the embaattled newsrooms of small town newspapers to the pornography film sets of the Los Angeles basin, from the check–out lanes of Dollar General to the holy sites of Mormonism, from the nation’s highest peaks to the razed remains of a cherished home, like a latter–day Woody Guthrie, Tom Zoellner takes to the highways and byways of a vast land in search of the soul of its people. By turns nostalgic and probing, incisive and enraged, Zoellner’s reflections reveal a nation divided by faith, politics, and shifting economies, but––more importantly––one united by a shared sense of ownership in the common land.

Prehistoric Textiles by E. J.W. Barber

Title Prehistoric Textiles
Author E. J.W. Barber
Publisher Princeton University Press
Release Date 1991
Category Social Science
Total Pages 471
ISBN 069100224X
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"This monumental study embraces linguistic and archaelogical investigations, practical knowledge weaving, palaeobiology, and other arcane sciences to trace the development of cloth" (Washington Post Book World). "A fascinating study of early textile traditions in the Aegean and adjacent parts of Europe, North Africa, and the Near East".--Lynn S. Teague, Spin-Off.

The Future And Its Enemies by Virginia Postrel

Title The Future and Its Enemies
Author Virginia Postrel
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2011-05-10
Category Social Science
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781439135327
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Today we have greater wealth, health, opportunity, and choice than at any time in history. Yet a chorus of intellectuals and politicians laments our current condition -- as slaves to technology, coarsened by popular culture, and insecure in the face of economic change. The future, they tell us, is dangerously out of control, and unless we precisely govern the forces of change, we risk disaster. In The Future and Its Enemies, Virginia Postrel explodes the myths behind these claims. Using examples that range from medicine to fashion, she explores how progress truly occurs and demonstrates that human betterment depends not on conformity to one central vision but on creativity and decentralized, open-ended trial and error. She argues that these two opposing world-views -- "stasis" vs. "dynamism" -- are replacing "left" and "right" to define our cultural and political debate as we enter the next century. In this bold exploration of how civilizations learn, Postrel heralds a fundamental shift in the way we view politics, culture, technology, and society as we face an unknown -- and invigorating -- future.

A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield

Title A Perfect Red
Author Amy Butler Greenfield
Publisher Random House
Release Date 2011-12-31
Category History
Total Pages 432
ISBN 9781448111336
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A Perfect Red recounts the colourful history of cochineal, a legendary red dye that was once one of the world's most precious commodities. Treasured by the ancient Mexicans, cochineal was sold in the great Aztec marketplaces, where it attracted the attention of the Spanish conquistadors in 1519. Shipped to Europe, the dye created a sensation, producing the brightest, strongest red the world had ever seen. Soon Spain's cochineal monopoly was worth a fortune. Desperate to find their own sources of the elusive dye, the English, the French, the Dutch, and other Europeans tried to crack the enigma of cochineal. Did it come from a worm, a berry, a seed? Could it be stolen from Mexico and transplanted to their own colonies? Pirates, explorers, alchemists, scientists, and spies - all joined the chase for cochineal, a chase that lasted for more than three centuries. A Perfect Red tells their stories - true-life tales of mystery, empire, and adventure, in pursuit of the most desirable colour on earth.

Dress Codes by Richard Thompson Ford

Title Dress Codes
Author Richard Thompson Ford
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2022-01-18
Category Crafts & Hobbies
Total Pages 464
ISBN 9781501180088
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A “sharp and entertaining” (The Wall Street Journal) exploration of fashion through the ages that asks what our clothing reveals about ourselves and our society. Dress codes are as old as clothing itself. For centuries, clothing has been a wearable status symbol; fashion, a weapon in struggles for social change; and dress codes, a way to maintain political control. Merchants dressing like princes and butchers’ wives wearing gem-encrusted crowns were public enemies in medieval societies structured by social hierarchy and defined by spectacle. In Tudor England, silk, velvet, and fur were reserved for the nobility, and ballooning pants called “trunk hose” could be considered a menace to good order. The Renaissance-era Florentine patriarch Cosimo de Medici captured the power of fashion and dress codes when he remarked, “One can make a gentleman from two yards of red cloth.” Dress codes evolved along with the social and political ideals of the day, but they always reflected struggles for power and status. In the 1700s, South Carolina’s “Negro Act” made it illegal for Black people to dress “above their condition.” In the 1920s, the bobbed hair and form-fitting dresses worn by free-spirited flappers were banned in workplaces throughout the United States, and in the 1940s, the baggy zoot suits favored by Black and Latino men caused riots in cities from coast to coast. Even in today’s more informal world, dress codes still determine what we wear, when we wear it—and what our clothing means. People lose their jobs for wearing braided hair, long fingernails, large earrings, beards, and tattoos or refusing to wear a suit and tie or make-up and high heels. In some cities, wearing sagging pants is a crime. And even when there are no written rules, implicit dress codes still influence opportunities and social mobility. Silicon Valley CEOs wear t-shirts and flip-flops, setting the tone for an entire industry: women wearing fashionable dresses or high heels face ridicule in the tech world, and some venture capitalists refuse to invest in any company run by someone wearing a suit. In Dress Codes, law professor and cultural critic Richard Thompson Ford presents a “deeply informative and entertaining” (The New York Times Book Review) history of the laws of fashion from the middle ages to the present day, a walk down history’s red carpet to uncover and examine the canons, mores, and customs of clothing—rules that we often take for granted. After reading Dress Codes, you’ll never think of fashion as superficial again—and getting dressed will never be the same.

World Textiles by Mary Schoeser

Title World Textiles
Author Mary Schoeser
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2003
Category Art
Total Pages 224
ISBN 0500203695
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A history of textiles and their significance and use in cultures from prehistoric times to the present discusses materials, techniques, and design and considers the influences of the trade in textiles and technological changes.

The Year 1000 by Valerie Hansen

Title The Year 1000
Author Valerie Hansen
Publisher Scribner
Release Date 2020-04-14
Category History
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781501194108
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From celebrated Yale professor Valerie Hansen, a groundbreaking work of history showing that bold explorations and daring trade missions connected all of the world’s great societies for the first time at the end of the first millennium. People often believe that the years immediately prior to AD 1000 were, with just a few exceptions, lacking in any major cultural developments or geopolitical encounters, that the Europeans hadn’t yet reached North America, and that the farthest feat of sea travel was the Vikings’ invasion of Britain. But how, then, to explain the presence of blonde-haired people in Maya temple murals at Chichén Itzá, Mexico? Could it be possible that the Vikings had found their way to the Americas during the height of the Maya empire? Valerie Hansen, an award-winning historian, argues that the year 1000 was the world’s first point of major cultural exchange and exploration. Drawing on nearly thirty years of research, she presents a compelling account of first encounters between disparate societies, which sparked conflict and collaboration eerily reminiscent of our contemporary moment. For readers of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens, The Year 1000 is an intellectually daring, provocative account that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about how the modern world came to be. It will also hold up a mirror to the hopes and fears we experience today.

Title Cloth That Changed the World
Author Sarah Fee
Publisher Other Distribution
Release Date 2019-12-31
Category Design
Total Pages 272
ISBN 030024679X
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The story of India's exuberantly colored textiles that made their mark on design, technology, and trade around the world Chintz, a type of multicolored printed or painted cotton cloth, originated in India yet exerted influence far beyond its home shores: it became a driving force of the spice trade in the East Indies, and it attracted European merchants, who by the 17th century were importing millions of pieces. In the 18th century, Indian chintz became so coveted globally that Europeans attempted to imitate its uniquely vibrant dyes and design--a quest that eventually sparked the mechanical and business innovations that ushered in the Industrial Revolution, with its far-reaching societal impacts. This beautifully illustrated book tells the fascinating and multidisciplinary stories of the widespread desire for Indian chintz over 1,000 years to its latest resurgence in modern fashion and home design. Based on the renowned Indian chintz collections held at the Royal Ontario Museum, the book showcases the genius of Indian chintz makers and the dazzling variety of works they have created for specialized markets: religious and court banners for India, monumental gilded wall hangings for elite homes in Europe and Thailand, luxury women's dress for England, sacred hangings for ancestral ceremonies in Indonesia, and today's runways of Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.

Ten Caesars by Barry Strauss

Title Ten Caesars
Author Barry Strauss
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Release Date 2020-03-03
Category History
Total Pages 432
ISBN 9781451668841
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Bestselling classical historian Barry Strauss delivers “an exceptionally accessible history of the Roman Empire…much of Ten Caesars reads like a script for Game of Thrones” (The Wall Street Journal)—a summation of three and a half centuries of the Roman Empire as seen through the lives of ten of the most important emperors, from Augustus to Constantine. In this essential and “enlightening” (The New York Times Book Review) work, Barry Strauss tells the story of the Roman Empire from rise to reinvention, from Augustus, who founded the empire, to Constantine, who made it Christian and moved the capital east to Constantinople. During these centuries Rome gained in splendor and territory, then lost both. By the fourth century, the time of Constantine, the Roman Empire had changed so dramatically in geography, ethnicity, religion, and culture that it would have been virtually unrecognizable to Augustus. Rome’s legacy remains today in so many ways, from language, law, and architecture to the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. Strauss examines this enduring heritage through the lives of the men who shaped it: Augustus, Tiberius, Nero, Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Diocletian, and Constantine. Over the ages, they learned to maintain the family business—the government of an empire—by adapting when necessary and always persevering no matter the cost. Ten Caesars is a “captivating narrative that breathes new life into a host of transformative figures” (Publishers Weekly). This “superb summation of four centuries of Roman history, a masterpiece of compression, confirms Barry Strauss as the foremost academic classicist writing for the general reader today” (The Wall Street Journal).

Interwoven Globe by Amelia Peck

Title Interwoven Globe
Author Amelia Peck
Publisher Metropolitan Museum of Art
Release Date 2013
Category Exoticism in art
Total Pages 350
ISBN 9781588394965
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A global exploration of textile design and its far-reaching influence on aesthetics, commerce, and taste

The Book Of Looms by Eric Broudy

Title The Book of Looms
Author Eric Broudy
Publisher UPNE
Release Date 1993
Category Crafts & Hobbies
Total Pages 176
ISBN 0874516498
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A heavily illustrated classic on the evolution of the handloom is now reissued in a handy paper edition.

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