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Humanity: An Emotional History

by Stuart Walton - £8.99  Grove Atlantic (2005)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781843541059 | ISBN 10: 184354105x

A bold and strikingly innovative study of how basic emotions rule the world. Walton contends that in the last two hundred and fifty years there have been big changes in the unwritten rules that govern what can be expressed in public and in private. Our private lives have benefited from greater emotional honesty and articulacy, while some emotions, such as anger, appear to dominate public behaviour more than ever before. Walton examines the history of each of our core emotions - fear, anger disgust, sadness, jealousy, contempt, shame, embarrassment, surprise and happiness - in turn. For Walton, love and hate (between which there is a famously only a thin line) are fundamental feelings that inveigle their way into all the other emotions. And he shows convincingly that without these emotions there would be no human history. Walton's highly original and necessarily idiosyncratic work mixes history, philosophical insight and the latest science to produce a vivid and exuberant account of how emotions have shaped our past.

(Price & availability last checked: April 2018)

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In booklists: Philosophy, World History,
In categories: Politics & Philosophy, History & Biography,

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