Contributors. Jason Cons, Rosalind Evans, Nicholas Farrelly, David N. Gellner, Radhika Gupta, Sondra L. Hausner, Annu Jalais, Vibha Joshi, Nayanika Mathur, Deepak K. Mishra, Anastasia Piliavsky, Jeevan R. Sharma, Willem van Schendel
David N. Gellner is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He is the editor of Varieties of Activist Experience: Civil Society in South Asia and Ethnic Activism and Civil Society in South Asia and coeditor (with Krishna Hachhethu) of Local Democracy in South Asia: Microprocesses of Democratization in Nepal and Its Neighbours.
In this short book Jack Goody systematically dismantles this Eurocentric view of the world. He argues that we need to look, not for a European miracle, but rather for a Eurasian miracle that went back to the Urban Revolution of the Bronze Age, that affected the Near East, India and China well before Europe and that was much advanced by the adoption of writing. Under these conditions we find a long-term exchange of information between East and West, and the dominance of one followed by the dominance of the other - in other words, alternation rather than dominance. There were measures during the Renaissance in Europe that made for continuous growth, especially the secularization of learning, but it appears that the period of Western supremacy is now coming to an end and that we are about to experience a further alternation in favour of the East.
Because these accounts reflect as much about the structures and priorities of France as they do about the cultures they describe, Ames and Love hope their analysis bridges the gap between studies on early modern France and those on the major Asiatic countries of the same period. Their findings challenge the current thinking in the study of early modern France by demonstrating that overseas expansion to Asia was of considerable importance and interest to all segments of French society. Specialists in traditional internal French history will find much in this study of European expansion to complement and supplement their research.