First Globalization: The Eurasian Exchange, 1500-1800 (World Social Change)
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
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First Globalization presents an original and sweeping conceptualization of the grand cultural-civilizational encounter between Asia and Europe. Now largely taken for granted, the exchange resonates in multiple ways even today. Offering a "metageography" of the vast Eurasian zone, Geoffrey C. Gunn shows how between 1500 and 1800, a lively two-way flow in ideas, philosophies, and cultural products brought competing civilizations into serious dialogue and mostly peaceful exchange. In Europe, the interaction was reflected in missionary reporting, cartographic representations, literary productions, and intellectual fashions, alongside the business of commerce and plunder (when it reached the Americas and peripheries). In Asia―-notably China, India, and particularly Japan―-European ideas and their bearers received a remarkably positive hearing when they did not challenge reigning orthodoxies. Ranging from discussions of the natural world, livelihoods, and religious and intellectual encounters to language, play, crime and punishment, gender, and governance, this book replays the themes of enduring hybridity and "creolization" of cultures dating from the first great encounter between Europe and Asia.
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