A Personal Word….As a student major in Sociology, I became intrigued by the subject of culture change. What is culture exactly? How, when and why did it orginate? And how does it change? Once I completed all the degree requirements, becoming the honor graduate of the Sociology department, I added History as a second major and intended to write an historical-comparative Master’s Thesis concentrating on the topic of culture change. When speaking with an advisor in the History department about my plans for post-gradute work in writing a history of Western cultures, I was informed in no uncertain terms that such a subject is not acceptable. There is neither a methodology for a writing such a thesis, nor criteria for evaluation. My future plans at the University of South Alabama were effectively blocked. It was then that I realized why a history of Western cultures had not been written by a professional historian – and could never be written. Innovation, as usual, will have to come from outside academia.

 

 The dream reader of my five books is an iconoclast. Someone subversive and skeptical of accepted dogma; or curious or perhaps introspective who feels something has gone wrong in Western history but can’t quite put their finger on when or why. Well, something did go extremely wrong and I know when and why. During my seven-year academic career at the University of South Alabama and the subsequent twenty five years spent researching and writing my books, I have developed an alternative view of Western cultural history. This version has been excluded from the customary "Great Men, Great Deeds" narratives of text book orthodoxy. This other perspective rests on the premise that cultures have a history of their own and they have quite a story to tell. But, in order to tell it well a researcher and writer must first come to understand and then explain what culture is actually. There have been many collisions of cultures in Western history with drastic consequences for all involved that extended over centuries. That fact is the pith of the matter and a primary focus of all five of the works presented here. Culture change drives history. Understand that and we can understand each other and ourselves. My books can function as stepping-stones in a path toward some of the answers of when and why things went so wrong and some ideas about what we can do about it. Fairhope, Alabama 2017

 

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