The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation

The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation

by John M. Hobson, Hobson John M.
     
 

John Hobson challenges the ethnocentric bias of mainstream accounts of the Rise of the West. It is often assumed that since Ancient Greek times Europeans have pioneered their own development, and that the East has been a passive bystander in the story of progressive world history. Hobson argues that there were two processes that enabled the Rise of the 'Oriental West'… See more details below

Overview

John Hobson challenges the ethnocentric bias of mainstream accounts of the Rise of the West. It is often assumed that since Ancient Greek times Europeans have pioneered their own development, and that the East has been a passive bystander in the story of progressive world history. Hobson argues that there were two processes that enabled the Rise of the 'Oriental West'. First, each major developmental turning point in Europe was informed in large part by the assimilation of Eastern inventions (e.g. ideas, technologies and institutions) which diffused from the more advanced East across the Eastern-led global economy between 500-1800. Second, the construction of European identity after 1453 led to imperialism, through which Europeans appropriated many Eastern resources (land, labour and markets). Hobson's book thus propels the hitherto marginalised Eastern peoples to the forefront of the story of progress in world history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521838351
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2004
Pages:
396
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.98(d)

Table of Contents

1Countering the Eurocentric myth of the West : discovering the Oriental West1
IThe East as an early developer : the East discovers and leads the world through Oriental globalisation 500-1800
2Islamic and African pioneers : building the Bridge of the World and the global economy in the Afro-Asian age of discovery, 500-150029
3Chinese pioneers : the first industrial miracle and the myth of Chinese isolationism, 1000-180050
4The East remains dominant : the twin myths of Oriental despotism and isolationism in India, South-east Asia and Japan, 1400-180074
Pt. IIThe West was last : Oriental globalisation and the invention of Christendom, 500-1498
5Inventing Christendom and the Eastern origins of European feudalism, c. 500-100099
6The myth of the Italian pioneer, 1000-1492116
7The myth of the Vasco de Gama epoch, 1498-c. 1800134
Pt. IIIThe West as a late developer and the advantages of backwardness : Oriental globalisation and the reconstruction of Western Europe as the advanced West, 1492-1850
8The myth of 1492 and the impossibility of America : the Afro-Asian contribution to the catch up of the West, 1492-c. 1700161
9The Chinese origins of British industrialisation : Britain as a derivative late developer, 1700-1846190
10Constructing European racist identity and the invention of the world, 1700-1850 : the imperial civilising mission as a moral vocation219
11The dark side of British industrialisation and the myth of Laissez-faire : war, racist imperialism and the Afro-Asian origins of British industrialisation243
Pt. IVConclusion : the Oriental West versus the Eurocentric Myth of the West
12The twin myths of the rational Western liberal-democratic state and the great divide between East and West, 1500-1900283
13The rise of the Oriental West : identity/agency, global structure and contingency294

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