Arnold Toynbee

from Martin Luther King, Jr – Beyond Vietnam on Rap Genius

Meaning

Arnold Joseph Toynbee was a British historian whose twelve-volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations, A Study of History, 1934–1961, was a synthesis of world history, a metahistory based on universal rhythms of rise, flowering and decline, which examined history from a global perspective.

A religious outlook permeates the Study and made it especially popular in the United States, for Toynbee rejected Greek humanism, the Enlightenment belief in humanity’s essential goodness, and the “false god” of modern nationalism.

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