The Fabric of Civilization

How Textiles Made the World

Narrated by Caroline Cole
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Pub Date 17 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 17 Aug 2021

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Description

From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, explore the global history of textiles and the world they weave together in this enthralling and educational guide.

The story of humanity is the story of textiles -- as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture.

In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo's David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code.

Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world's most influential commodity.

From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, explore the global history of textiles and the world they weave together in this enthralling and educational guide.

The story of humanity is the story of...


Advance Praise

“We are taken on a journey as epic, and varying, as the Silk Road itself… [The Fabric of Civilization is] like a swatch of a Florentine Renaissance brocade: carefully woven, the technique precise, the colors a mix of shade and shine and an accurate representation of the whole cloth.”―New York Times

“Expansive… The author is excellent at highlighting how textiles truly changed the world.”―Wall Street Journal

"My pick as best nonfiction book of the year....[Virginia Postrel] offers a bold retelling of history through an emphasis on cloth — cloth as decoration, cloth as currency, cloth as ritual and much more. One of the most extraordinary volumes I have read in years."―Stephen Carter, Bloomberg Opinion

“Textile-making hasn’t gotten enough credit for its own sophistication, and for all the ways it undergirds human technological innovation—an error Virginia Postrel’s erudite and complete book goes a long way toward correcting at last.”―Wired

“The Fabric of Civilization is a fascinating book, and persuasive too: by the end the case is made that ‘textiles made the world.’”―Times (UK)

"Fascinating and wide-ranging... This is an engrossing and illuminating portrait of the essential role fabric has played in human history."―Publishers Weekly

“We are taken on a journey as epic, and varying, as the Silk Road itself… [The Fabric of Civilization is] like a swatch of a Florentine Renaissance brocade: carefully woven, the technique precise...


Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook
ISBN 9781664989382
PRICE $19.99 (USD)
DURATION 9 Hours, 42 Minutes

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