In this important study, Abu-Lughod presents a groundbreaking reinterpretation of global economic evolution, arguing that the modern world economy had its roots not in the sixteenth century, as is widely supposed, but in the thirteenth century economy--a system far different from the European world system which emerged from it. Using the city as the working unit of analysis, Before European Hegemony provides a new paradigm for understanding the evolution of world systems by tracing the rise of a system that, at its peak in the opening decades of the 14th century, involved a vast region stretching between northwest Europe and China. Writing in a clear and lively style, Abu-Lughod explores the reasons for the eventual decay of this system and the rise of European hegemony.
"A provocative, well-researched, imaginative book."--Contemporary Sociology "A useful and stimulating economic history that juxtaposes data from many different regions....The book should prove useful and popular in world history courses."--American Historical Review "An important work in historical sociology."--Science & Society "A beautifully written work, whose scope is comparable to those of Immanuel Wallerstein and Fernand Braudel."--American Sociological Association "World history at its best, combining breadth and depth, pattern with detail....A first-class contribution that will become a major reference point in future scholarship."--American Journal of Sociology "A provocative, well-researched, imaginative book."--Contemporary Sociology "A useful and stimulating economic history that juxtaposes data from many different regions....The book should prove useful and popular in world history courses."--merican Historical Review "An important work in historical sociology."--Science & Society "A beautifully written work, whose scope is comparable to those of Immanuel Wallerstein and Fernand Braudel."--American Sociological Association "World history at its best, combining breadth and depth, pattern with detail....A first-class contribution that will become a major reference point in future scholarship."--American Journal of Sociology "This readable and well-researched survey of the medieval world is provocative yet subtle and balanced, valuable for general readers and specialists alike....Extremely important and ambitious."--Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science "Abu-Lughod makes a major contribution to the writing of world history in pushing the starting date for the world system back to 1250. In doing so, she has finally cut into the gordian knot of the supposed break in world history at 1500."--Journal of World History "Abu-Lughod is the first to develop [a] significant and detailed analysis of the rise and fall of one of the several 'systems' that have linked up important parts of the Afro-Eurasian landmass in the past two hundred years. With the growth of world history courses in universities, it would certainly be very important to academic audiences."--Philip D. Curtin, Johns Hopkins University "Ambitious and provocative....Without a doubt a valuable book, both as a corrective to many prevailing preconceptions, and for the breadth of its vision."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History "An interesting and provocative thesis."--History "Offers a new and expansive vision of world economic history from 1250 to 1350."--Journal of Asian Studies "A fine example of sociological imagination and historical generalization. Her synthetic attempt, distilling the scholarship of hundreds of regional specialists, is bound to be controversial yet it constitutes a major strength of the book, for it will provide an impetus of new research in a number of disciplines and area programs. The book is clearly written, logically organized, and free of jargon and ethnocentrism."--Ashraf Ghani, Johns Hopkins University "Thoroughly admirable. Janet Abu-Lughod has chosen a path that is likely to achieve a more satisfactory explanation of local and regional patterns of rise and fall, expansion and contraction, than can be hoped for from any more partial vision of human reality as it existed in the thirteenth century--and before as well as after that time."--William H. McNeill, University of Chicago (Emeritus) "Like the perfect acrobat Janet Abu-Lughod takes great leaps with apparent ease, catches the impossibly distant ring, then swings gracefully before performing another astonishing maneuver. Before European Hegemony moves effectively among widely separate cities, civilizations, commodities, eras, and ideas, showing us unexpected connections among them and making us doubt what we once took for granted. The book will make every reader, even the most resistant to Great Systems, stretch in new directions."--Charles Tilly, The New School for Social Research "Well-suited for integrating the history of Europe in the high middle ages into the 'world system' that flourished during the same period."--W.R. Jones, University of New Hampshire "A new approach to a subject normally not considered. Useful for a specialized or graduate course."--M.C. Rosenfield, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth "An interesting and informative overview of the late medieval world economic system--of the growth of the individual sectors, how and why the system functioned, and some plausible reasons for its ultimate demise."--Gregory G. Guzman, The Historian "Abu-Lughod's humanity is evident throughout this work as she describes in personalized yet dignifying prose the variety and commonalty of cultures across space and time. This book is both a gem and a landmark study."--Theory and Society "An important corrective to a Eurocentric view of early Modern History."--William F. Lye, Utah State University "A stunningly effective book for teaching students to rethink received ideas about Asia."--Martha Kaplan, Vassar College
Number Of Pages: 464
Published: 21st February 1991
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.1 x 13.1 x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.52