Cultures in Contact: World Migrations in the Second Millennium


A landmark work on human migration around the globe, Cultures in Contact provides a history of the world told through the movements of its people. It is a broad, pioneering interpretation of the scope, patterns, and consequences of human migrations over the past ten centuries. In this magnum opus thirty years in the making, Dirk Hoerder reconceptualizes the history of migration and immigration, establishing that societal transformation cannot be understood without taking into account the impact of migrations ...
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Cultures in Contact: World Migrations in the Second Millennium

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A landmark work on human migration around the globe, Cultures in Contact provides a history of the world told through the movements of its people. It is a broad, pioneering interpretation of the scope, patterns, and consequences of human migrations over the past ten centuries. In this magnum opus thirty years in the making, Dirk Hoerder reconceptualizes the history of migration and immigration, establishing that societal transformation cannot be understood without taking into account the impact of migrations and, indeed, that mobility is more characteristic of human behavior than is stasis.

Signaling a major paradigm shift, Cultures in Contact creates an English-language map of human movement that is not Atlantic Ocean-based. Hoerder describes the origins, causes, and extent of migrations around the globe and analyzes the cultural interactions they have triggered. He pays particular attention to the consequences of immigration within the receiving countries. His work sweeps from the eleventh century forward through the end of the twentieth, when migration patterns shifted to include transpacific migration, return migrations from former colonies, refugee migrations, and distinct regional labor migrations in the developing world. Hoerder demonstrates that as we enter the third millennium, regional and intercontinental migration patterns no longer resemble those of previous centuries. They have been transformed by new communications systems and other forces of globalization and transnationalism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“We have long known that the world’s peoples have been in constant movement for a very long time. Now we have an encyclopedic overview of who has moved where and why for the last thousand years, based on impressively wide reading. This overview will shake up a lot of preconceptions.”—Immanuel Wallerstein, author of The End of the World as We Know It: Social Science for the Twenty-First Century

”This book is breathtaking in its scope and detail. Hoerder has done world history a great service, speaking to multiculturalism while providing the nuts and bolts of migration history over time and space.”—Nancy Green, author of Ready-To-Wear and Ready-To-Work: A Century of Industry and Immigrants in Paris and New York

Annemarie Steidl

"Cultures in Contact is a landmark work, a broad and pioneering interpretation of the scope, patterns and consequences of human migrations around the globe over the past ten centuries. . . . Hoerder's work links world historical events to global and regional migration flows, within and across cultural borders without losing sight of the individual men and women who moved, changed, suffered, prospered and intermingled with their fellow human beings."
Choice - P. G. Wallace

"[A] massive and definitive study on migration in the second millennium. . . . Highly recommended. All academic libraries. . . ."
Leslie Page Moch

"[A] pleasure to read. . . . Hoerder has achieved the enormous feat of moving a field forward by globalizing the study of human movements. . . . He has given the history of migration a new starting point and a challenging new context."
J.R. McNeil

"This book is destined to be often consulted. . . . The research behind the book is massive. . . . The most interesting passages deal with cultural consequences of migration-for food, music, dance, and so forth-but the most useful aspect of the book, I suspect, will prove the wealth of data on migration itself."
The National Interest

“A formidable piece of work. It is of particular importance because Hoerder shows in great detail that it is necessary to move from a focus on the Atlantic migration system in order to give due weight to migration flows in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific world. . . . Hoerder’s cast is a fascinating one, with particular attention to peoples, such as Armenians and Jews, that have had high rates of migration, but also with due attention to others that are generally neglected, such as Central Asian peoples.”
Labor - Jerry H. Bentley

"Cultures in Contact reflects immense learning deployed over vast swaths of the globe. It breaks out of the Atlantic-centered perspective that has blinkered most European and Euro-American studies of migration, and for the period since 1500 it strives to bring Asian, African, and Pacific migrations into a larger world-system history of migration. . . . Hoerder's study of migration systems . . . does an outstanding job of synthesizing a vast library of scholarship on human migrations while also contributing to the growing body of global historical analysis. Cultures in Contact offers not only a survey of world migrations over the past millennium but also a synopsis of global history viewed from the perspective of migratory processes."
History Today - Nicholas Canny

"[A] truly significant book which derives its authority from cross-cultural primary research, as well as secondary reading, on a scale that few previous authors have attempted. . . . [H]e has designed the book to ensure that readers interested in but one aspect of his story will be able to follow it intelligently, and his advancing argument is clarified by a sequence of original maps that will also serve as a vital teaching aid to all students of historical migration."
Journal of American Ethnic History - Robin Cohen

"This is a book of enormous scope, ambition, and achievement. . . . Hoerder's work is a major synthesis and intervention in the field, and he is to be congratulated for his notable accomplishment."
Journal of Pacific History - John Connell

"[S]tunning. . . . [A] fine book, a well illustrated tour de force. . . ."
Pacific Historical Review - Walter Nugent

"This extraordinary book, written on Braudelian scale, is the most complex and comprehensive history of human migration yet. . . .[A] masterwork. . . . This volume should stand for a long time as the authoritative synthesis of the vast array of human migrations, bitter or sweet, that have happened over the last ten centuries."
Population and Development Review - Patrick Manning

"Through a remarkable collection of closely described cases, he elucidates both the structural similarities and the cultural distinctiveness of migrations in Medieval Europe, the Ottoman Empire, trading posts, fur empires, forced migration, proletarian and contract-labor migration, and the current "un-mixing" of peoples into nation-states. Hoerder's more than 50 maps . . . convey original and thought-provoking demonstrations of interactions among migration systems."
EH.NET - Raymond L. Cohn

"The book represents an impressive, almost unbelievable, accomplishment. . . . Furthermore, the book is user-friendly. . . . Hoerder's book will become a classic and remain for years a valuable reference for anyone working on any aspect of the history of human migration since 1000 AD."
The Key Reporter - Rick Eden

"This book will change the way you think about human mobility. . . . Cultures in Contact is a very large book, even encyclopedic. . . . Pick a place, a time, a people of meaning to you-then plunge in. You will be amazed at what you learn about how you came to be where you are."
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Dirk Hoerder is Professor of History at the Universität Bremen in Germany. He has written and edited numerous books. He is coeditor of European Migrants: Global and Local Perspectives; The Settling of North America: The Atlas of the Great Migrations into North America from the Ice Age to the Present; People in Transit: German Migrations in Comparative Perspective, 1820–1930; Roots of the Transplanted; and Distant Magnets: Expectations and Realities in the Immigrant Experience, 1840–1930.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures
Acknowledgments and Dedication
Contexts: An Introductory Note to Readers
1 Worlds in Motion, Cultures in Contact 1
Pt. I The Judeo-Christian-Islamic Mediterranean and Eurasian Worlds to the 1500s 23
2 Antecedents: Migration and Population Changes in the Mediterranean-Asian Worlds 27
3 Continuities: Mobility and Migration from the Eleventh to the Sixteenth Century 59
4 The End of Intercivilizational Contact and the Economics of Religious Expulsions 92
5 Ottoman Society, Europe, and the Beginnings of Colonial Contact 108
Pt. II Other Worlds and European Colonialism to the Eighteenth Century 135
6 Africa and the Slave Migration Systems 139
7 Trade-Posts and Colonies in the World of the Indian Ocean 163
8 Latin America: Population Collapse and Resettlement 187
9 Fur Empires and Colonies of Agricultural Settlement 211
10 Forced Labor Migration in and to the Americas 234
11 Migration an Conversion: Worldviews, Material Culture, Racial Hierarchies 257
Pt. III Intercontinental Migration Systems to the Nineteenth Century 275
12 Europe: Internal Migrations from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century 277
13 The Russo-Siberian Migration System 306
14 The Proletarian Mass Migrations in the Atlantic Economies 331
15 The Asian Contract Labor System (1830s to 1920s) and Transpacific Migration 366
16 Imperial Interest Groups and Subaltern Cultural Assertion 405
Pt. IV Twentieth-Century Changes 443
17 Forced Labor and Refugees in the Northern Hemisphere to the 1950s 445
18 Between the Old and the New, 1920s to 1950s 489
19 New Migration Systems since the 1960s 508
20 Intercultural Strategies and Closed Doors in the 1990s 564
Notes 583
Selected Bibliography 717
Sources for Maps and Figures 747
Index 755
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