Plus, receive recommendations and exclusive offers on all of your favorite books and authors from Simon & Schuster.
Inventing the World
Venice and the Transformation of Western Civilization
Table of Contents
About The Book
An epic cultural journey that reveals how Venetian ingenuity and inventions—from sunglasses and forks to bonds and currency—shaped modernity.
How did a small, isolated city—with a population that never exceeded 100,000, even in its heyday—come to transform western civilization? Acclaimed anthropologist Meredith Small, the author of the groundbreaking Our Babies, Ourselves examines the the unique Venetian social structure that was key to their explosion of creativity and invention that ranged from the material to social.
Whether it was boats or money, medicine or face cream, opera, semicolons, tiramisu or child-labor laws, these all originated in Venice and have shaped contemporary notions of institutions and conventions ever since. The foundation of how we now think about community, health care, money, consumerism, and globalization all sprung forth from the Laguna Veneta.
But Venice is far from a historic relic or a life-sized museum. It is a living city that still embraces its innovative roots. As climate change effects sea-level rises, Venice is on the front lines of preserving its legacy and cultural history to inspire a new generation of innovators.
- Publisher: Pegasus Books (December 1, 2020)
- Length: 336 pages
- ISBN13: 9781643135380
Browse Related Books
Raves and Reviews
"Venice does not lack admirers, but this is an inventive addition. An anthropologist at Cornell, Small emphasizes the city’s social structure as she describes “how one small place had an outsized influence on the development of Western culture.” Venice lovers already familiar with plaudits by other travelers and historians will enjoy this different perspective."
– Kirkus Review
"Small catalogs a dizzying array of Venetian innovations in this illuminating account. Small enlivens her research with personal anecdotes about her love for Venice, and moves fluidly from one topic to the next. The result is a delightful and informative cabinet of wonders."
– Publishers Weekly
Resources and Downloads
You may also like: Thriller and Mystery Staff Picks
More to Explore
Our Summer Reading Recommendations
Red-hot romances, poolside fiction, and blockbuster picks, oh my! Start reading the hottest books of the summer.
This Month's New Releases
From heart-pounding thrillers to poignant memoirs and everything in between, check out what's new this month.