Civilisation is a slippery concept, which since the end of the Second World War, has not had much in the way of good press. It is in fact this decline in the resonance the concept had with politicians, the public and the universities and its relationship to pre- and post-war perspectives on knowledge that is the subject of this chapter. The perception that university knowledge had something to do with civilisation now sounds a little naïve, but made sense at a time that civilisation did. But when the war threatened both the experience and the concept of civilisation, as this chapter will explore, the role of knowledge gained new importance as a means of bolstering a fragmenting idea.
You can read more at my first draft of Chapter One: Knowledge and Civilisation 1939-1957
Don't feel like it right now? Don't worry (I know you were). It will come back again.