Edition: 2024
Pages: 272
Series: IR/L
ISBN: 9788858151358

The Invention of the West

Alessandro Vanoli


Atico de los libros (world Spanish)



When Spain and Portugal signed the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, effectively dividing the non-European world in two, no one could have imagined that a simple signature would have such gigantic and lasting consequences…

This is the story of how, in the Modern Era, European societies pushed their ambitions further and further towards the Atlantic Ocean, turning what was essentially a direction into a concept. It’s the story of the invention of the West.

This book is a gripping account of the birth of the West as an idea of belonging. It is a story of great navigators and heated debates among geographers. It is a story of challenges and explorations into the unknown. But above all, it is the story of the cultural debates that followed the treaty and led to the invention and definition of the West, which had never been seen on a map before. The inescapable culmination of this history is us, who still use the word to refer to a reality that is only partly geographical and corresponds, ever more imprecisely, to a cultural concept, to a community of countries that share “values” of freedom and democracy - but first of all a market economy. At a time when all this seems to be widely questioned, it is worth asking again how the West came into being.

The author

Alessandro Vanoli

Alessandro Vanoli, historian, writer and populariser, is an expert on Mediterranean history. He has taught History of Ancient Middle East and History of Mediterranean Sea in Modern Age at the University of Bologna and at the State University of Milan. For years he has also been involved in theatre projects and podcasts. He collaborates with RAI and ‘Corriere della Sera’. His last book with Laterza Storia del mare (2022) has sold over 10,000 copies.

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