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Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year (review)

Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year (review) Book Reviews 355 Calendar: Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year. By david ewing duncan. New York: Avon, 1998. Pp. 266. $23.00 (cloth); $13.50 (paper). Journalists and academics both tell stories which are not always strictly true; the main stylistic difference between the two is that jour- nalists have to write in a manner comprehensible and entertaining to a relatively large audience. When one of them writes history, then the result is virtually guaranteed to be a good read. The subject of the modern world calendar has recently been made the concern of heavy- weight academic monographs, by Robert Poole and Stephen McClus- key. It is David Duncan’s achievement to tell its whole known story, going into all its considerable technicalities, in a way which can be enjoyed by virtually anybody. The story is, after all, superb. The present calendar is one of the greatest triumphs of Western civilization, basically unchanged for over two millennia and with one significant improvement more than four 356 journal of world history, fall 2000 centuries ago. It is all the more noteworthy in that it rests upon foun- dations which are hardly “western” at all. The Babylonians gave it the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World History University of Hawai'I Press

Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year (review)

Journal of World History , Volume 11 (2) – Oct 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-8050

Abstract

Book Reviews 355 Calendar: Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year. By david ewing duncan. New York: Avon, 1998. Pp. 266. $23.00 (cloth); $13.50 (paper). Journalists and academics both tell stories which are not always strictly true; the main stylistic difference between the two is that jour- nalists have to write in a manner comprehensible and entertaining to a relatively large audience. When one of them writes history, then the result is virtually guaranteed to be a good read. The subject of the modern world calendar has recently been made the concern of heavy- weight academic monographs, by Robert Poole and Stephen McClus- key. It is David Duncan’s achievement to tell its whole known story, going into all its considerable technicalities, in a way which can be enjoyed by virtually anybody. The story is, after all, superb. The present calendar is one of the greatest triumphs of Western civilization, basically unchanged for over two millennia and with one significant improvement more than four 356 journal of world history, fall 2000 centuries ago. It is all the more noteworthy in that it rests upon foun- dations which are hardly “western” at all. The Babylonians gave it the

Journal

Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 1, 2001

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