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After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires, 1400-2000 Paperback – August 18, 2009
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Marvellously illuminating…Darwin sustains an intricate thesis with enormous panache.” ―Independent (UK )
“Elegant and brilliant….wonderful and imaginative…a deeply significant book.” ―Sunday Times (UK )
“Undoubtedly a great work, a book that goes truly global in chronicling the history of one of our abiding concerns: the pull and limitations of absolute power.” ―St. Petersburg Times
Top Customer Reviews
Much of the narrative is quite good, and some is excellent. Darwin's specialty is the 20th century British empire and he is particularly good on the 19th century formation of European colonial empires, the crucial role of dominating India in the formation of the British Empire, and the process of decolonialization. While the narrative sections, which are the great majority of the book, are good, the quality and depth of analysis is not strong.Read more ›
Gonzales legitimately complains that Darwin spends a good deal of time answering a negative - i.e., telling us why the traditional views of European power don't completely explain what happened to world culture post-1750. But Rouco is wrong in saying Darwin never reaches that explanation. Darwin says that the abstraction of financial instruments, combined with globalized trade patterns, led to hyper-militarism. He wants to make sure readers understand that it is not merely the Industrial Revolution, not merely Marx or Weber concepts of capitalism, that brought Euro- and U.S. cultures to this point, and to make this clear, Darwin must first mention the negatives.
This is a dense and subtle book, but it is masterfully written. I kept trying to think of a more straightforward way Darwin might have written this to avoid the problems mae and Cesar have, but I'm not sure that's possible. Darwin is writing a meta-analysis to observe post-Tamerlane civilizational history from the 75,000-foot level, perhaps even the orbital level, so it certainly should not be read on its own, but as a companion piece to more detailed regional historical surveys of empire.
1. The growth of global connectedness that results in the globalization as it is known today;
2. The key role that Europe and later on the West played in that process;
3. The resilience of many of Eurasia's other states and cultures in the face of Europe's expansionism.
Darwin pushes his audience to rethink the history of Europe's expansion by making four assumptions:
1) Europe did not progressively rise to preeminence, then fall and rise again as part of the West. The pace of European advance was spasmodic at best in the 250 years following the arrival of Christophe Columbus in the Americas in 1492 C.E. The subjugation of the Americas did not offer Europe a decisive advantage over the rest of Eurasia during that period. Asians were not interested in most of what the Europeans had to offer, resulting in a flow of American silver to South and East Asia. After 1750 C.E., this pattern progressively changed with the subjugation of India and the advent of the industrial revolution that allowed Europeans to impose a trade of manufactured products against raw materials and foodstuffs in the region.
The great expansion of trade in the 19th century C.E. and the globalization that it helped to promote were possible for two main reasons. Firstly, there was no general war between the major European powers between the Congress of Vienna in 1815 C.E. and the outbreak of the WWI in 1914 C.E. Secondly, industrialization allowed culturally self-confident Europeans to colonize far faster and on a far larger scale than was previously possible. For example, think about the scramble for Africa among European powers at the end of the 19th century C.E.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a bit breezy, but had lots of good new insights, enough to suspect that the current stasis is very transitory and that changes in the world order may be unexpected.Published 1 month ago by J. Richard Forester
So much rich detail about global history, a must have for your history collection.Published 5 months ago by Vanessa Holmes
Darwin begins his world historians with William H. McNeil. However, he doesn’t seem to realise that McNeil’s father, an authority about John Calvin, was a close friend of Arnold... Read morePublished 7 months ago by William A. Percy
Almost six centuries of world history in less than 500 pages: without discussion this is a ‘tour de force’, particularly if someone does that with the necessary depth and from a... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Marc L
Such a well written history of the world. I didn't think he could sum it up in one volume but he did.Published 9 months ago by Shazad Sheikh
I found the facts good but there is a definitive anti-western civilization agenda that really pervades this text. Read morePublished 13 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 13 months ago by Koo Tat Kee