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Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contacts and Exchanges in Pre-Modern Times Paperback – January 7, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0195076400 ISBN-10: 0195076400

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 7, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195076400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195076400
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Excellent! Very interesting parallel reading for [an] undergraduate course in medieval history."--Paul R. Waibel, Belhaven College

"An outstanding example of cross-cultural methodology that adds relevance to the usually Eurocentric World History course. Provides a rare glimpse at the ways in which European civilization was enriched by contact with the Middle East, Asia and Africa."--Prof. James A. Brown, Tougaloo College

"[A]n excellent survey of a central subject....It is eminently suitable for...classroom use. My international affairs graduate students, who have only a modest background in history, grasped its messages easily and rated it very highly both for enjoyment and for intellectual provocation. I found it a smooth read, finely proportioned, and a most useful survey of its subject."--J.R. McNeill (Georgetown University) in Journal of World History

"Will be very useful to my teaching of medieval trade and travel, and encounters between East and West."--Olivia Constable, Notre Dame University

"...themes are treated by the author with skill, clarity, and, above all, brevity....Old World Encounters is a good introductory textbook for general courses on world history or Asian history."--The International History Review

"Bentley uses a wide range of sources, but he wears his learning easily, so that even beginning undergraduates can profit from this book."--Teaching History

"Useful to introduce students to cross-cultural contacts."--Lydia M. Garner, Southwest Texas State University

"A marvelous survey of cross-cultural networks in Afro-Eurasia."--Peter Arnade, California State University at San Marcos

"Looks like a wonderful global study of a process fundamental to world history. Will certainly enrich my course significantly."--Stephen Morillo, Wabash College

"Eloquently shows trade and religion as the binding forces among Eurasian civilizations in the pre-1500 era. The book is a fine supplement in our world civilization program."--Steven F. Sage, Middle Tennessee State University

About the Author

Jerry H. Bentley is at University of Hawaii.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. F Sherman on June 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
At least until recent times major civilizations gradually shared, adapted, borrowed, and sometimes transfromed material elements of civilization and even ideas. A wonderful overview of history before European colonialism introduces eaxamples and processes for a valuable perspective that should be read by area specialists and others tending to see things from the view of a single nation, faith, or culture. The pace and shock of change increased with modern communications and powerful force producing perhaps a different story from the period after that so well reviewed in this book. One might start with Phillip Curtin and Wolf's "peoples without history' for this later period.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Jerry Bentley argues against the popular Eurocentric belief that the world began with Christopher Columbus. In other words, before 1492 cross-cultural encounters did not exist. The book analyzes the dynamics of these pre-modern encounters, and seeks to understand cross-cultural conversion. Bentley argues that cultural and religious traditions faced much opposition in foreign territory, and that they rarely won converts unless there were political, social, and economic encouragement. More importantly, was the need for aid from the syncretic process which allowed traditions to gain support in other lands. Bentley offers illustrations to support his argument, however, he often uses sources of bias when they support his argument. Unfortunately, sometimes his arguments seem to contradict each other.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lionel S. Taylor on March 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
One of the growing fields in the History profession is World History. Many colleges have begun to offer undergrad and even graduate degrees in this field. But a nagging question is how can a true world history be taught and is it even possible? Old World Encounters attempts to answer this question and does a good job of it. It avoids the biggest challenge of teaching the history of such vast areas and disparate cultures by following the theme of cultural exchange in this way the book goes smoothly from place to place without seeming choppy and disjointed. The author focuses on the point at which different cultures meet and what occurs when they do. As another reviewer pointed out what happens is not a "clash of civilizations" but rather an interesting cultural blending that allows the author to explore the different power dynamics at play in the different regions a good example of this is the comparison of the spread of Islam in southeast Asia to the lack of spread of Christianity in China and the reason the two situations played out so differently. It is through these comparisons that Bentley delves into the particulars of many different cultures much deeper than one would expect in such a slim volume on World/Cultural History. Now some would argue that this is still just a regional history (albeit a very large region) and that the Americas and Oceania are not included and the author acknowledges this in the last chapter. But I believe that that is why he chose the pre-modern time period to do this history because it does allow you to exclude certain parts of the world and still credibly call it a world history. This being said the story of contact and exchange in the Americas had been told many times and it was refreshing to see how the contact and cultural exchange was nothing new in the Old World. So can a truly world history be written about effectively? I think that Bentley proves that it can at least be well written about the Old World!
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful By april joy on January 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the book is in good condition for being used. i got it for my history class and it came fast
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