The Origins of the Modern World: Fate and Fortune in the Rise of the West

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9780742554184: The Origins of the Modern World: Fate and Fortune in the Rise of the West

The Origins of the Modern World offers a refreshing alternative to Eurocentric histories by exploring the roles that Asia, Africa, and the New World played in creating the world we know today. Starting in 1400, it brings the saga of the modern world to the present, considering how and why the United States emerged as a world power in the 20th century and why Asia is experiencing resurgence now.

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About the Author:

Robert B. Marks is Richard and Billie Deihl Professor of History at Whittier College. He is author of Origins of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century, Tigers, Rice, Silk, and Silt: Environment and Economy in Late Imperial South China, Rural Revolution in South China, and coauthor of The Making of the Modern World. He lives in Whittier, California.

Review:

The best easily read overview of the Eurocentric vs. World History debate yet. (Dennis O. Flynn, University of the Pacific)

Marks convincingly discredits the standard Eurocentric narrative of mainstream historians, replacing it with a balanced story that places Asia at the centre prior to the 1800s and Europe (then, America) at the centre thereafter....[The author uses] a cogent, accessible style grounded in key historical concepts such as contingency, conjuncture, and accident. (James L. Huffman Pacific Affairs)

Spendid-fresh, forceful, and efficient. The ideas are challenging, and the prose is readable and engaging. (Edward L. Farmer, University of Minnesota)

This is a concise and thought-provoking treatment of some major themes in world history: state-building, industrialization, environmental change, and the transformation of material life. The treatment of global inequality as a phenomenon in its own right—not just as a residue of more 'development' having occurred in some places than others—gives the book an important additional dimension. And as a single-authored work, it has a consistent and engaging voice that is hard to find in standard textbooks. (Kenneth L. Pomeranz, University of California, Irvine)

An absorbing, crisp, and compact account of how the modern world got to be the way it is. This is the most accessible and comprehensive book yet written that takes into account the recent departures in world history scholarship. Marks sees the world as a whole, and paints a clear and compelling panorama of the transformations that changed history between 1400 and 1900. (John R. McNeill, Georgetown University)

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