A Study of History by Arnold J. Toynbee

A Study of History is the 12-volume magnum opus of British historian Arnold J. Toynbee, finished in 1961. In this immensely detailed and complex work, Toynbee traces the birth, growth and decay of some 21 to 23 major civilizations in the world. These are: Egyptian, Andean, Sinic, Minoan, Sumerian, Mayan, Indic, Hittite, Hellenic, Western, Orthodox Christian (Russia), Far Eastern (Japan), Orthodox Christian (main body), Far Eastern (main body), Persian, Arabic, Hindu, Mexican, Yucatec, and Babylonic. There are four 'abortive civilizations' (Abortive Far Western Christian, Abortive Far Eastern Christian, Abortive Scandinavian, Abortive Syriac) and five 'arrested civilizations' (Polynesian, Eskimo, Nomadic, Ottoman, Spartan); thirty in all. Toynbee applies his model to each of these civilizations, painstakingly detailing the stages through which they all pass: genesis, growth, time of troubles, universal state, and disintegration.

The 88th greatest nonfiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 5th on The 50 Best Books of the Century (Intercollegiate Studies Institute)
  2. - 45th on The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction (The Modern Library)
  3. - Recommended Books (Academy of Achievement)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
A Study of History, 2-Volume Abridgement by D.C. Somervell Hardcover 639314 $9.95 1962
A Study of History, Vol. 2: Abridgement of Volumes VII-X Paperback 518815 $19.29 $3.74 1987
A Study of History, Vol. 1: Abridgement of Volumes I-VI Paperback 302462 $16.30 $5.74 1987
A study of history Hardcover 290573 $18.00 $0.48
A Study of History Paperback 4918503 $41.35 $2.91
A Study of History: Abridgement of Volumes VII-X (Royal Institute of International Affairs) Kindle Edition 224741 $10.99 1987
A Study of History: Abridgement of Volumes I-VI Kindle Edition 189893 $10.99 1947
A Study of History, Abridged Edition Hardcover 639716 $17.92 $2.48
A Study of History Hardcover 562169 $22.48 $0.01 1989
A Study of History Paperback 6139924 $40.20
A Study of History: The Geneses of Civilizations, Part Two Paperback 6727619 $12.00
A Study of History, Volume VI Hardcover 3877477 $39.95 1951
A Study of History, Vol. 2: Abridgement of Volumes VII-X Hardcover 1755607 $34.92 $3.63 1957
A Study of History : The Growths of Civilizations (A Study of History, Volume 3) Paperback 3321589 $6.96
A STUDY OF HISTORY, Volume XII, RECONSIDERATIONS Hardcover 975191 $8.99
A Study of History: Abridgement of Volumes 1-6 Hardcover 1768226 $4.55