5. Toynbee: Challenge and Response

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Arnold Joseph Toynbee was a one of the most influential historians of the twentieth century. He was alive from 1889 to 1975, and in that time he wrote many books including hie most famous work, A Study of History, a ten volume piece written over twenty-seven years. In A Study of History, Toynbee relates all of human history from the beginning of civilization to the present using the history to demonstrate his theory known as Challenge and Response. Toynbee believed that every civilization would be faced with a crisis of either ideas or technology, and that how the society responds to that crisis determined whether or not the society would continue. This was challenge and response. He was more optimistic than many of his colleagues, however, in his views saying that many societies do overcome their crises.


Anna-William Kornberg

Sources: Toynbee, Arnold Joseph Thomas M. Price, [[[1]] Class Notes 8/29/14