Babylon by Paul Kriwaczek

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Civilization was born eight thousand years ago, between the floodplains of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, when migrants from the surrounding mountains and deserts began to create increasingly sophisticated urban societies. In the cities that they built, half of human history took place.


In Babylon, Paul Kriwaczek tells the story of Mesopotamia from the earliest settlements seven thousand years ago to the eclipse of Babylon in the sixth century BCE. Bringing the people of this land to life in vibrant detail, the author chronicles the rise and fall of power during this period and explores the political and social systems, as well as the technical and cultural innovations, which made this land extraordinary. At the heart of this book is the story of Babylon, which rose to prominence under the Amorite king Hammurabi from about 1800 BCE. Even as Babylon’s fortunes waxed and waned, it never lost its allure as the ancient world’s greatest city.


Engaging and compelling, Babylon reveals the splendor of the ancient world that laid the foundation for civilization itself.


About Paul Kriwaczek

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PAUL KRIWACZEK was the head of Central Asian Affairs at the BBC's World Service. He is the author of Yiddish Civilisation, which was shortlisted for the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Award, as well as In Search of Zarathustra.
Published March 27, 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books. 321 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kriwaczek is constantly sifting through changing theories resulting from continuous excavations, such as what might have prompted the progression from godly worship to the establishment of kings, somewhere around 4,000 BCE, in the city of Uruk, Gilgamesh’s legendary kingdom.

Jan 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Babylon

City Book Review

Paul Kriwaczek begins with a quote from Professor Quentin Skinner of Cambridge University: “History which does not inform present-day concerns amounts to little more than self-indulgent antiquarianism.” You could hardly accuse Mr. Kriwaczek of self-indulgent antiquarianism.

May 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Babylon

Portland Book Review

Wilson Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biologist Author of On Human Nature Sat 11 Tix are available at Sun7:30 @Powells the first collection of short fiction from Jess Walter, is a suite of diverse, often comic stories Saturday the 2nd, 10am / Powell’s City of Books ...

Aug 27 2012 | Read Full Review of Babylon

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