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Publisher's Summary

Oscar Wilde said 'Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life'. Was he right? In Civilisations, David Olusoga travels the world to piece together the shared histories that link nations. 

In part one, 'First Contact', we discover what happened to art in the great Age of Discovery, when civilisations encountered each other for the first time. Although undoubtedly a period of conquest and destruction, it was also one of mutual curiosity, global trade and the exchange of ideas. 

In part two, 'The Cult of Progress', we see how the Industrial Revolution transformed the world, impacting every corner and every civilisation, from the cotton mills of the Midlands through Napoleon's conquest of Egypt to the decimation of both Native American and Maori populations and the advent of photography in Paris in 1839. Incredible art - both looted and created - relays the key events and their outcomes throughout the world.

©2018 David Olusoga (P)2018 Hachette Audio

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  • Deborah H
  • 07-10-2020

Enjoyed the book very much, but

I have no idea why narrators take on the cliched accent of the subject in a non-fiction book - I cringed at the brash American and effete French accents (but strangely not the German accent for Otto Dix). It’s a distraction and ridiculous. Otherwise, thoroughly enjoyed.

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  • DEEJAYESS
  • 13-09-2020

Interesting and informative

A longtime fan of David Olusoga’s work, I expected this to be a worthwhile ‘read’. I was not disappointed. It demonstrates the power and importance of all cultures in civilizations whilst leaving you feeling frustrated that European colonialism allowed such a narrow view of the world to shine through.

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  • Ben Behibro
  • 14-06-2020

Excellent short insights

Excellent short insights into first contacts between civilisations and the role art played in documenting such events.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-01-2020

Real truth brought to bear...

Amazingly told allegory, of the truth, of the history of yesteryear. this brought to light the many lies of the colonisers. Their barbaric and uncivilized ways in which they took over the world.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.