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Written for high school or beginning undergraduate students, this four-volume reference valiantly attempts to provide a historical framework for the perhaps overly broad concept of world trade. Entry topics were selected on trade organizations, influential people, commodities, events that affected trade, trade routes, navigation, religion, communic
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CYNTHIA CLARK NORTHRUP teaches at the University of Texas, Arlington. Her field of specialization is modern U.S. history with an emphasis on political and economic issues.
Jerry H. Bentley (1949 2012) was a Professor of History at the University of Hawai i, M noa. Educated at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the University of Minnesota, his early research focused on Renaissance humanist scholarship of the Bible, but after coming to Hawai i in 1976 he emerged as one of the international leaders in world history scholarship and teaching. He published a wide range of articles on comparative and transnational methods in history and several books, including the seminal Old World Encounters: Cross-Cultural Contact and Exchange in Pre-Modern Times (1993) and one of the most popular textbooks for teaching world history, Traditions and Encounters. He was the founding editor of the Journal of World History, and served as its editor-in-chief for twenty-two years, and was also a founding member of the World History Association in 1982. He developed standards and curriculum locally, nationally, and internationally, established a flourishing PhD program in world history at the University of Hawai'i, directed numerous seminars for scholars and teachers across the globe, and fostered a world history program at Capital Normal University in Beijing.
Alfred E. Eckes, Jr., a former chairman and commissioner of the U.S. International Trade Commission, is Ohio Eminent Research Professor in Contemporary History at Ohio University. His books include "The United States and the Global Struggle for Minerals".
Kenneth Pomeranz is University Professor in History and the College, University of Chicago. His work focuses mostly on China, though he is also very interested in comparative and world history. His publications include The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000), which won the John K. Fairbank Prize from the AHA, and shared the World History Association book prize and has been translated into seven languages; The Making of a Hinterland: State, Society and Economy in Inland North China, 1853 1937 (1993), which also won the Fairbank Prize; The World that Trade Created (with Steven Topik, first edition 1999, 3rd edition 2012), and a collection of essays recently published in France. He has also edited or co-edited five books, and was one of the founding editors of the Journal of Global History. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Advanced Studies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other sources. In 2012 he was elected president of the American Historical Association.
Steven Topik is Professor of History at the University of California at Irvine.
This alphabetically arranged encyclopedia is designed as a reference tool for those wishing to learn about trade in history and its impact on social and political issues in given periods. Treating the subject across time, from the ancient world to the present, the 450 topical, biographical, and broad-issue essays cover a variety of topics, from specific countries, regions, and continents to trade organizations, such as the Hanseatic League and World Trade Organization, to biographical entries for those who have influenced world commerce, such as Christopher Columbus and Peter the Great. Historical episodes that have altered the course of trade (for example, the fall of the Roman Empire) are included as well, along with lengthier essays on general topics that correlate with changing trade relations, such as Religion and Warfare.
Entries range in length from several columns to 10 pages, with areas of broader reach and applicability receiving appropriately more coverage. Each entry begins with a grey-boxed definition of the term under scrutiny and is followed by a detailed examination. The prose, written by numerous subject experts, most with college or university affiliations, is generally clear but dry. Each entry ends with a list of cross-references, and many also include short print bibliographies. The many black-and-white photographs, period reproductions, and maps are well placed and ably serve to extend the text. Volume 1 lists the contents for the entire set, as well as a "Topic Finder," which serves as a rough subject access. It also contains a list of contributors, with affiliations, and the list of maps for the entire set. All volumes contain full set indexes, and volume 4 has a comprehensive bibliography; a chronology; general, biographical, and geographical indexes; and an extensive set of primary source documents.
The set does a creditable job of addressing the most salient issues in the history of world trade and serves to highlight its importance. It is a sound addition to academic and large public library collections. Ann Welton
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