WorldCat Identities

Ober, Josiah

Works: 64 works in 309 publications in 4 languages and 13,171 library holdings
Genres: History  Essays  Exhibition catalogs  Sources  Military history 
Roles: Author, Editor, Thesis advisor, Other, Interviewee, Author of introduction
Classifications: JC75.D36, 320.9385
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works about Josiah Ober
Most widely held works by Josiah Ober
Primates and philosophers : how morality evolved by F. B. M. de Waal( Book )

18 editions published between 2006 and 2016 in English and held by 1,238 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

'It's the animal in us', we often hear when we've been bad, But why not when we're good? 'Primates and Philosophers' tackles this question by exploring the biological foundations of one of humanity's most valued traits: morality
Mass and elite in democratic Athens : rhetoric, ideology, and the power of the people by Josiah Ober( Book )

42 editions published between 1989 and 2009 in English and Greek, Modern and held by 812 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This book asks an important question often ignored by ancient historians and political scientists alike: Why did Athenian democracy work as well and for as long as it did? Josiah Ober seeks the answer by analyzing the sociology of Athenian politics and the nature of communication between elite and nonelite citizens. After a preliminary survey of the development of the Athenian "constitution," he focuses on the role of political and legal rhetoric. As jurymen and Assemblymen, the citizen masses of Athens retained important powers, and elite Athenian politicians and litigants needed to address these large bodies of ordinary citizens in terms understandable and acceptable to the audience. This book probes the social strategies behind the rhetorical tactics employed by elite speakers. A close reading of the speeches exposes both egalitarian and elitist elements in Athenian popular ideology. Ober demonstrates that the vocabulary of public speech constituted a democratic discourse that allowed the Athenians to resolve contradictions between the ideal of political equality and the reality of social inequality. His radical reevaluation of leadership and political power in classical Athens restores key elements of the social and ideological context of the first western democracy
Political dissent in democratic Athens : intellectual critics of popular rule by Josiah Ober( Book )

25 editions published between 1998 and 2011 in English and held by 747 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

How and why did the Western tradition of political theorizing arise in Athens during the late fifth and fourth centuries B.C.? By interweaving intellectual history with political philosophy and literary analysis, Josiah Ober argues that the tradition originated in a high-stakes debate about democracy. Since elite Greek intellectuals tended to assume that ordinary men were incapable of ruling themselves, the longevity and resilience of Athenian popular rule presented a problem: how to explain the apparent success of a regime "irrationally" based on the inherent wisdom and practical efficacy of decisions made by non-elite citizens? The problem became acute after two oligarchic "coups d' tat" in the late fifth century B.C. The generosity and statesmanship that democrats showed after regaining political power contrasted starkly with the oligarchs' violence and corruption. Since it was no longer self-evident that "better men" meant "better government," critics of democracy sought new arguments to explain the relationship among politics, ethics, and morality. Ober offers fresh readings of the political works of Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle, among others, by placing them in the context of a competitive community of dissident writers. These thinkers struggled against both democratic ideology and intellectual rivals to articulate the best and most influential criticism of popular rule. The competitive Athenian environment stimulated a century of brilliant literary and conceptual innovation. Through Ober's re-creation of an ancient intellectual milieu, early Western political thought emerges not just as a "footnote to Plato," but as a dissident commentary on the first Western democracy
The Athenian revolution : essays on ancient Greek democracy and political theory by Josiah Ober( Book )

21 editions published between 1996 and 1999 in English and German and held by 721 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Where did "democracy" come from, and what is its original form and meaning? Here Josiah Ober shows that this "power of the people" crystallized in a revolutionary uprising by the ordinary citizens of Athens in 508-507 B.C. He then examines the consequences of the development of direct democracy for upper- and lower-class citizens, for dissident Athenian intellectuals, and for those who were denied citizenship under the new regime (women, slaves, resident foreigners), as well as for the general development of Greek history
Origins of democracy in ancient Greece by Kurt A Raaflaub( Book )

19 editions published between 2003 and 2009 in English and held by 593 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This book presents a state-of-the-art debate about the origins of Athenian democracy by five eminent scholars. The result is a stimulating, critical exploration and interpretation of the extant evidence on this intriguing and important topic. The authors address such questions as: Why was democracy first realized in ancient Greece? Was democracy "invented" or did it evolve over a long period of time? What were the conditions for democracy, the social and political foundations that made this development possible? And what factors turned the possibility of democracy into necessity and reality? The authors first examine the conditions in early Greek society that encouraged equality and "people's power." They then scrutinize, in their social and political contexts, three crucial points in the evolution of democracy: the reforms connected with the names of Solon, Cleisthenes, and Ephialtes in the early and late sixth and mid-fifth century
The rise and fall of classical Greece by Josiah Ober( Book )

10 editions published in 2015 in English and held by 586 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Lord Byron described Greece as great, fallen, and immortal, a characterization more apt than he knew. Through most of its long history, Greece was poor. But in the classical era, Greece was densely populated and highly urbanized. Many surprisingly healthy Greeks lived in remarkably big houses and worked for high wages at specialized occupations. Middle-class spending drove sustained economic growth. Classical wealth produced a stunning cultural efflorescence lasting hundreds of years. Why did Greece reach such heights in the classical period--and why only then? And how, after 'the Greek miracle' had endured for centuries, did the Macedonians defeat the Greeks, seemingly bringing an end to their glory? Drawing on a massive body of newly available data and employing novel approaches to evidence, Josiah Ober offers a major new history of classical Greece and an unprecedented account of its rise and fall. Ober argues that Greece's rise was no miracle but rather the result of political breakthroughs and economic development. The extraordinary emergence of citizen-centered city-states transformed Greece into a society that defeated the mighty Persian Empire. Yet Philip and Alexander of Macedon were able to beat the Greeks in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BCE, a victory enabled by the Macedonians' appropriation of Greek innovations. After Alexander's death, battle-hardened warlords fought ruthlessly over the remnants of his empire. But Greek cities remained populous and wealthy, their economy and culture surviving to be passed on to the Romans--and to us. A compelling narrative filled with uncanny modern parallels, this is a book for anyone interested in how great civilizations are born and die. This book is based on evidence available on a new interactive website. To learn more, please visit:"--
Dēmokratia : a conversation on democracies, ancient and modern( Book )

11 editions published in 1996 in English and held by 520 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This book is the result of a long and fruitful conversation among practitioners of two very different fields: ancient history and political theory. The topic of the conversation is classical Greek democracy and its contemporary relevance. The nineteen contributors remain diverse in their political commitments and in their analytic approaches, but all have engaged deeply with Greek texts, with normative and historical concerns, and with each others' arguments. The issues and tensions examined here are basic to both history and political theory: revolution versus stability, freedom and equality, law and popular sovereignty, cultural ideals and social practice. While the authors are sharply critical of many aspects of Athenian society, culture, and government, they are united by a conviction that classical Athenian democracy has once again become a centrally important subject for political debate
Democracy and knowledge : innovation and learning in classical Athens by Josiah Ober( Book )

22 editions published between 2008 and 2010 in English and Undetermined and held by 502 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"When does democracy work well, and why? Is democracy the best form of government? These questions are of supreme importance today as the United States seeks to promote its democratic values abroad. Democracy and Knowledge is the first book to look to ancient Athens to explain how and why directly democratic government by the people produces wealth, power, and security." "Combining a history of Athens with contemporary theories of collective action and rational choice developed by economists and political scientists, Josiah Ober examines Athenian democracy's unique contribution to the ancient Greek city-state's remarkable success, and demonstrates the valuable lessons Athenian political practices hold for us today. He argues that the key to Athens's success lay in how the city-state managed and organized the aggregation and distribution of knowledge among its citizens. Ober explores the institutional contexts of democratic knowledge management, including the use of social networks for collecting information, publicity for building common knowledge, and open access for lowering transaction costs. He explains why a government's attempt to dam the flow of information makes democracy stumble. Democratic participation and deliberation consume state resources and social energy. Yet as Ober shows, the benefits of a well-designed democracy far outweigh its costs." "Understanding how democracy can lead to prosperity and security is among the most pressing political challenges of modern times. Democracy and Knowledge reveals how ancient Greek politics can help us transcend the democratic dilemmas that confront the world today."--Jacket
Athenian legacies : essays on the politics of going on together by Josiah Ober( Book )

11 editions published between 2005 and 2007 in English and held by 490 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Athenian Legacies demonstrates how the people of one influential political community rebuilt their democratic government, rewove their social fabric, and, through thick and thin, went on together. The book's essays address amnesty, civic education, and institutional innovation in early Athens, a city that built and lost an empire while experiencing plague, war, economic trauma, and civil conflict." "As Josiah Ober demonstrates, Athenians became adept at collective survival. They conjoined a cultural commitment to government by the people with new institutions that captured the social and technical knowledge of a diverse population to recover from revolution, foreign occupation, and the ravages of war." "Ober provides insight into notorious instances of Athenian injustice, explaining why slaves, women, and foreign residents willingly risked their lives to support a regime in which they were systematically mistreated. He answer the question of why Socrates never left a city he said was badly governed. How could a philosopher regard the laws of Athens as worthy of loyalty after being unjustly convicted of impiety?" "At a time when social scientists debate the cultural grounding necessary to foster democracy. Athenian Legacies advances new arguments about the role of diversity and the relevance of shared understanding of the past in creating democracies that flourish when the going gets rough."--Jacket
Athenian political thought and the reconstruction of American democracy( Book )

7 editions published in 1994 in English and held by 482 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A company of citizens : what the world's first democracy teaches leaders about creating great organizations by Brook Manville( Book )

8 editions published between 2002 and 2003 in English and held by 457 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"In this provocative book, organizational expert Brook Manville and Princeton classics professor Josiah Ober argue that ancient Athenian democracy provides an ingenious solution to the paradox facing every modern leader: how to ratchet up overall performance while nurturing the individuals whose knowledge and expertise fuel the firm." "Manville and Ober show that the Athenian approach to organizing people - as self-governing, knowledge-sharing citizens - was driven by three core elements: democratic values, governance structures, and participatory practices. This dynamic system served as the architecture that supported Athens' two-hundred-year reign of innovation and excellence - and the authors say it also holds the key to building a long-lasting, modern-day "company of citizens.""--Jacket
The anatomy of error : ancient military disasters and their lessons for modern strategists by Barry S Strauss( Book )

7 editions published between 1990 and 1992 in English and held by 354 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Eight case studies of generals in the ancient world whose flawed strategies brought defeat. Includes biograhical detail
Fortress Attica : defense of the Athenian land frontier, 404-322 B.C. by Josiah Ober( Book )

11 editions published in 1985 in English and Undetermined and held by 345 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The Craft of the ancient historian : essays in honor of Chester G. Starr by John William Eadie( Book )

7 editions published in 1985 in English and held by 250 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The threshold of democracy : Athens in 403 B.C. by Josiah Ober( Book )

8 editions published between 2004 and 2015 in English and held by 90 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"In this updated addition to the Reacting to the Past family, the classroom is transformed into 5th-century Athens, a city divided in the wake of military defeat and open rebellion. With democratic stability uncertain, students must draw from a wide range of perspectives and original source material to approach issues of citizenship, elections, re-militarization, and dissent. Students also engage directly with history through innovative role-playing games, devised by acclaimed pedagogical experts, which develop leadership, speaking, writing, and critical thinking skills in a fun and unique classroom experience"--
Athenian reactions to military pressure and the defense of Attika, 404-322 B.C. by Josiah Ober( Book )

15 editions published between 1980 and 1984 in English and held by 17 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Primati e filosofi : evoluzione e moralità by F. B. M. de Waal( Book )

1 edition published in 2008 in Italian and held by 9 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Primates and philosophers how morality evolved by F. B. M. de Waal( )

1 edition published in 2010 in English and held by 7 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"It's the animal in us," we often hear when we've been bad. But why not when we're good? Primatologist Frans de Waa tackles this question by exploring the biological foundations of one of humanity's most valued traits: morality. In this provocative book, he argues that modern-day evolutionary biology takes far too dim a view of the natural world, emphasizing our "selfish" genes
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Primates and philosophers : how morality evolved
Alternative Names
Josiah Ober American historian of antiquity

Josiah Ober historian

Josiah Ober US-amerikanischer Althistoriker

Ober, Josiah

Mass and elite in democratic Athens : rhetoric, ideology, and the power of the peoplePolitical dissent in democratic Athens : intellectual critics of popular ruleThe Athenian revolution : essays on ancient Greek democracy and political theoryOrigins of democracy in ancient GreeceDēmokratia : a conversation on democracies, ancient and modernDemocracy and knowledge : innovation and learning in classical AthensAthenian legacies : essays on the politics of going on togetherAthenian political thought and the reconstruction of American democracy