Books: One Long View

THE WORLD AND THE WEST (99 pp.)—Arnold Toynbee — Oxford University Press ($2).

As if he were sitting, port and cigar at hand, in the common room of some distant planet populated by Oxford dons, Professor Arnold Toynbee looks down on the world and its worries with the Long View of history. Man, says Toynbee, with a Balliol-bred benignity of wit and grace of phrasing, is but a scurrying creature on a cosmic anthill who may be, but is not necessarily, doomed. It all depends on how the scurriers respond to challenge.

Toynbee's genial ability to work out patterns in history made the...

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