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Was Europe's domination of the modern international order the inevitable rise of a superior civilization or the piratical hijacking of an evolving world system? A little of both, and a lot of neither, this ambitious comparative study argues—because world history's real center of gravity sits in Eurasia. Historian Darwin (The End of the British Empire) contends that an ascendant Western imperialism was a sideshow to vast, wealthy and dynamic Asian empires—in China, Mughal India, the Ottoman Middle East and Safavid Iran—which proved resistant to Western encroachment and shaped the world into the 21st century. Europe's overseas colonial empires as well as the expansions of the United States across North America and Russia across Siberia—was not inevitable, but rather a slow, fitful and often marginal enterprise that didn't accelerate until the mid-19th century. Darwin analyzes the technological, organizational and economic advantages Europeans accrued over time, but shows how dependent their success was on the vagaries of world trade (the driving force of modern imperialism, in his account) and the internal politics of the countries they tried to control. Nicely balanced between sweeping overview and illuminating detail, this lucid survey complicates and deepens our understanding of modern world history. Photos. (Feb)
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I found the facts good but there is a definitive anti-western civilization agenda that really pervades this text. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Alma Jeanne Carman
In his book, Darwin’s message is clear: globalization of trade, capital and ideas is the product of interaction between empires as evidenced in world history. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Koo Tat Kee
This is another excellent, fat volume from Bloomsbury Press--I wonder if they have ever published anything under 450 pages. Darwin looks at empires all over the world. Read morePublished 5 months ago by lyndonbrecht
Cumbersome but interesting reading. A lot of history to digest in one book and too lengthy for my tastes, but I stuck with it and overall I enjoyed the fresh concepts of how world... Read morePublished 11 months ago by bb lambert
Great history, but poorly written with very complicated sentence structures and densely packed information. The flat prose makes for a hard read. Overall disappointing.Published 12 months ago by Chg2440
Generally good historical overview with a worldwide scope. Introduces issues that we too often forget. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Robert Moeller
This book was not for me. I was looking for a more entertaining historical story about the ancient empires. This book was dry reading for me and I didn't finish it.Published 18 months ago by sireatsalot