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european history / history of science “Vast and fascinating . . . this is a book which should be on the shelf of everyone who is curious not only about the European image of America but also about the history of man’s attitude to man. A monument both to erudition and to fastidious wit; the outcome of years of reading and reflection by a historian of ideas who is at once playful and wise.” —New York Review of Books “An imaginative, rich, masterly study of prime importance in the history of Western thought and of the Americas.” —Journal of American History “Gerbi’s book is fascinating. His scholarship is vast. . . . A superb and significant study dealing with an aspect of the Enlightenment that is usually ignored.” —Journal of the History of Philosophy When Hegel described the Americas as an inferior continent, he was repeating a contention that inspired one of the most passionate debates of modern times. This provocative thesis drew heated responses on both sides of the Atlantic and reached its apex in the late eighteenth century. In this reissue of the 1973 English-language translation, Antonello Gerbi scrutinizes each contribution to the debate, unravels the complex arguments , and reveals the motivations behind them. Antonello Gerbi (1904–1976) was a specialist on the history of political ideology and the author of several books, including Nature in the New World: From Christopher Columbus to Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo. Jeremy Moyle is a former professor of Italian at a number of universities in the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as a full-time translator and director of the English translation division at the EU Council of Ministers in Brussels. University of Pittsburgh Press Cover design: Ann Walston 9 7 8 0 8 2 2 9 6 0 8 1 2 ISBN 13: 978-0-8229-6081-2 ISBN 10: 0-8229-6081-8 ...


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