The Swerve: How the World Became Modern and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
CDN$ 17.87
  • List Price: CDN$ 28.50
  • You Save: CDN$ 10.63 (37%)
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern Hardcover – Sep 27 2011


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
CDN$ 17.87
CDN$ 17.85 CDN$ 2.93

Join Amazon Student in Canada



Frequently Bought Together

Customers buy this book with Lucretius On The Nature Of Things CDN$ 12.27

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern + Lucretius On The Nature Of Things
Price For Both: CDN$ 30.14

Show availability and shipping details

  • This item: The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

    In Stock.
    Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
    FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ CDN$ 25. Details

  • Lucretius On The Nature Of Things

    In Stock.
    Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
    FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ CDN$ 25. Details


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; First Edition edition (Sept. 27 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780393064476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393064476
  • ASIN: 0393064476
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.3 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 703 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

21 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Argyle on Dec 25 2011
Format: Hardcover
The scientists searching for the God Particle -- the phenomenon that turned energy into mass at the time of the Big Bang to create the universe as we know it -- say they're closing in on their quarry.Of course, there's nothing God-like about what they're hunting, but the fact they've chosen to give it this name aptly illustrates our preoccupation throughout human history with deities of one kind or another.

Human beings created Gods (in our likeness?) around the time that we moved from hunter-gatherer status to tillers of the soil -- or maybe earlier. The Sumerians, ancient Greeks and then the Romans codified their Gods but it took the rise of Judaism and Christianity -- and later Islam -- to create the monotheistic, all-fearing, vengeful God handed down to us in the Common Era.

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt (W.W. Norton) explores how some of the early philosophers, notably Epicurus in 3rd century BCE Greece, and Lucretius in 1st century BCE Rome, challenged this belief in gods. Greenblatt has constructed a fascinating narrative around a 15th century ex-Papal secretary, Poggio Bracciolini, who found the forgotten manuscript of Lucretius, On The Nature of Things, in a monastery in southern Germany. He had it copied (in beautiful calligraphy as readable as modern printing), and soon it was influencing the work of Renaissance thinkers, insidiously undermining the conventional wisdoms of the Church. With the discovery, Greenblatt writes, "the world swerved in a new direction."

Epicurus had taught that the gods, if they exist, did not care at all about human beings. If the gods did not care, why should we?
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Pinault on Jan. 20 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An engaging look at philosophy, writing, the art of both and the history of our beliefs. Really thought provoking and insightful. Writing and its power, writing as artwork and our crazy history.

A real pleasure.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
29 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Anderson on Nov. 28 2011
Format: Hardcover
I picked this one up after reading a review from the G&M's Jane Smiley, which I will never do again. The purported premise of Lucretius' work shaping the Renaissance had me hooked. Even the blurb's claim of Lucretius' influence on Einstein, Freud, Darwin, Jefferson had raised high hopes. But of course I was wrong. This book is nothing of what it purports to be. Most of the book is about the life of Poggio Bracciolini, who discovered and had Lucretius' work transcribed and thus 'disseminated' it to the world.

But what of it? A particular instance of history doesn't explain anything to me. There is absolutely no discussion of how On the Nature of Things actually formed the geist, if you will, of the Renaissance. The only connection Greenblatt draws is that it was simply read in the past, and therefore, it shaped the modern world. Are you kidding me? There are bits of useless information such as definitive proof of Montaingne's ownership of the poem, etc, but nothing in this book establishes the connection of psyche of Lucretius to the psyche of the Renaissance and beyond; perhaps one doesn't exist. But more importantly, even these cursory, contrived connections between Lucretius and the modern world, are only summarized in a single chapter. Most of the book is about the idiosyncrasies of Poggio and his times. Bits of entertaining information such as papal scribes hurling insults at one another have absolutely nothing to do with the supposed overarching theme of the book.

The only value of this book is in reading about facts related to Poggio Bracciolini not discussed in wikipedia. If you want to learn about Lucretius' influence in the modern world, look elsewhere (better yet, just read him).
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jane Bow on March 24 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is one of the best books I read last year. Using character development and historic detail beautifully rendered, Greenblatt shows how tenuous is the thread that keeps ancient poetic wisdoms within our reach, and how power always seeks to shut down those who do not embrace and obey it.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gerrit Bilkes on Jan. 31 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an interesting book, but I think that I did not find it totally convincing. It tells of some interesting characters. It has been quite a while since I read it. But generally speaking I found it a bit disappointing.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Product Images from Customers

Search

Look for similar items by category


Feedback