Dated in ways, but nonetheless carries some core truths July 7, 2004 By J A W Format:Paperback You can chisel

out the sections on temperature and race, temperature and behavio r, for these are silly and offensive. He compares Sub-Saharan Africans as just a hair above dumb animals, and he slams Arabs and Bedouin in other ways. However, his sections on economics and social politics are still valid, and he was a pio neer in areas that other Westerners tend to get credit for. Before Adam Smith outlined the need for "Specialized labor" in a commercial soci ety, there was Ibn Khaldun. Khaldun wrote of the pivotal role of "crafts" and sp ecialization of crafts in a functioning human society. He even suggests that ski lls in crafts are limited, that is, if you're a master shoe-maker you in all lik elihood won't be a master farmer. Therefore, master shoe-makers should make as m any shoes as they can and farmers should farm as they can, so as to produce as m any goods between the two of them than if they shared their time doing both. Bef ore there was Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig Von Mises, Ibn Khaldun implied the need for Rule of Law. Khaldun chastized the Bedouin who disrupted the social order t hrough their raids, and sent the craftsmen packing. Some sort of consistent lega l standard and social order is needed to ensure that specialized labor has the a bility to perform its "crafts". Before there was Reaganomics and Arthur Laffer, there was Ibn Khaldun. You want more tax revenue? Cut taxes, which provides ince ntive for people to work harder and expand their enterprises. More business, mor e economic growth, more tax revenue. High taxes deter enterprise and shrinks tax revenue. Arthur Laffer? Yes, but Ibn Khaldun 300+ years earlier. The issue Khaldun is most known for is "squadness", Group Feeling, Group Narciss ism, Tribalism, whatever you wish to call it. Governments and regimes come and g o based on the strength of the leaders to appeal to group cohesion. This could b e religious, blood, nationalist, whatever, but regimes need ideological cohesion in order to survive. Once that group feeling is lost, the regime becomes weak a nd conquerable if not self destructive. Multiculturalism and Postmodernism would be signs of cultural disorder and eventual social crumbling to Ibn Khaldun. Cra ne Brinton, Erich Fromm, Erik Hoffer all touched on the "Group Feeling" themes i n their own works, in different ways and emphases, and in many ways did it bette r (they had more historical examples to pull from, since history has dramaticall y accelerated since Khaldun's time), nonetheless, Khaldun was the one who first articulated this concept of political and social (dis)order. *********** ne of the foundational and greatest works in world history December 27, 2001 By Springfield Format:Paperback It is difficult to avoid overusing superlatives when thinking of or reviewing th is work. 'Muqaddimah' means 'introduction'; this was ibn Khaldun's introduction to his volumes of world history. The introduction, however, is what has been ent ered into the library of the world's greatest written works. By those who read m ore than western books, he is called the father of sociology (westerners grant W eber that title). In addition to groundbreaking and still-relevant sociological ideas, his muqaddimah is filled with major contributions to political science as well. He includes his thoughts on the supposed 'state of nature' and goes on to describe the workings of civilizations, in Braudel's longue duree view. The book is worth reading for two reasons. First, it is a historical monument -the birthplace of many important ideas. Second, the ideas are still not common knowledge. His ideas provide a useful and accurate representation of the world, suitable (after adaptation to the time period) to examining Chingis Khan's empir e or the position of the United States in global political and economic regime. One caveat: I read the three-volume, unabridged version. This 300 page paperback version comprises only a small fraction of the complete (and compleat) work. Another reviewer mentioned the dated scientific theories in this book. In a thre e-volume 'introduction' to a seven-volume (if memory serves) 'history of the wor

sociology. or history. this makes it an easy job to seperate the wheat from the chaff. Obviously. The dated natural science is kept strictly seperate from th e more lastingly-relevant social science. ibn Khaldun covered a wide array of topics. including both the social and t he natural sciences. I HIGHLY recommend the Muqaddimah to anyone with an interest in polit ical science. anthropology.ld'. .