Journal of World History, vol. 13, no. 1 (2002)


Tamerlane’s Career and Its Uses
Beatrice Forbes Manz
pp. 1-25
Abstract: Tamerlane has remained an important figure in world history, both because of the impact of his career on the world of his time and because he remains fascinating and useful to many people. This paper explores the facts of Temür’s career and the uses made of his image following his death, showing how his actions together with the stories circulated during his lifetime served to create a charisma that survives into our time. Tamerlane belonged to two worlds, the Islamic and the Turco-Mongolian, but was not eligible to hold the highest office in either one. To compensate for his low formal position, he deliberately created a persona which bordered on the supernatural. The dynasty he founded reworked earlier traditions to create the figure of a dynastic founder within both the Islamic and the Turkic traditions. Subsequent dynasties in the Middle East and Central and South Asia used Tamerlane to bolster their legitimacy, while European writers and historians found fascination in the contradictions of his personality and the monumentality of his ambitions. Many of the myths recounted later have their origins in stories apparently deliberately circulated by Tamerlane and his entourage. There is a striking continuity in the portrayal of Tamerlane and the use to which he has been put, from medieval Iran and India through the European Renaissance and Enlightenment to Russian, Soviet, and finally Uzbek formulations of history.

Consuming Kashmir: Shawls and Empires, 1500-2000
Michelle Maskiell
pp. 27-65
Abstract: Kashmiri shawls serve as a material vector to trace how European assumptions of geographical determinism, racial hierarchy, and gender essentialism underpinned the seemingly disparate nineteenth-century narratives about design history and various theories about an “Asiatic mode of production” in labor history. The continuing strength of these assumptions is demonstrated by the contemporary marketing in 2001 of pashmina (“woven goat hair” or cashmere) shawls, using the recycled tropes of exoticism and fantasy ethnography crafted during the heyday of British colonialism.

Governing Growth: A Comparative Analysis of the Role of the State in the Rise of the West
P.H.H. Vries
pp. 67-138
Abstract: In explaining the fact that Western Europe was the first region in the world with industrial economic growth, numerous authors have referred to the existence of a type of state and a state-system that presumably were uniquely European. In this article this thesis is put to the test through an analysis of how in the early modern period they are supposed to have brought about a “European miracle” and through a systematic comparison of the Western European polities and the context in which they operated with those of China, India, the Ottoman Empire, and Japan in the same period. The author concludes that the role of the state in explaining the emergence or non-emergence — in contrast to the diffusing and sustaining — of modern industrial growth has been much smaller and much less self-evident than is often claimed.

From Mexico to Copenhagen to Nairobi: The United Nations Decade for Women, 1975-1985
Judith P. Zinsser
pp. 139-168
Abstract: This essay describes the increasing radicalization of the United Nations-sponsored Decade for Women from 1975 to 1985, as seen in the final documents from each of its three conferences: the Mexico Declaration and Plan of Action, the Copenhagen Programme of Action, and the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies. The essay also argues that the Decade for Women demonstrates the significance of the United Nations to the creation of a truly international women’s movement, to the acceptance of many varied definitions of “feminism,” and to the advancement of all peoples’ human rights.


Drang Nach Osten: Bernard Bailyn, the World-Island, and the Idea of Atlantic History
Peter A. Coclanis
Abstract: This essay attempts at once to perform three interrelated tasks: to provide a brief sketch of the development of the field of Atlantic history; to document and assess Bernard Bailyn’s monumental contributions to this field; and to issue a respectful but spirited critique of Atlantic history from a global perspective.


Ross E. Dunn, ed. The New World History: A Teacher’s Companion.
reviewed by Daniel R. Headrick
pp. 183-186

Brian Fagan. Floods, Famines and Emperors: El Niño and the Fate of Civilizations.
reviewed by Steven Matthewman
pp. 186-189

E. L. Jones. Growth Recurring: Economic Change in World History.
reviewed by Robert B. Marks
pp. 190-192

Victor Lieberman, ed. Beyond Binary Histories: Re-imagining Eurasia to c. 1830.
reviewed by Alan Lebaron
pp. 192-195

Guilty Nashat and Judith E. Tucker. Women in the Middle East and North Africa.
reviewed by Haleh Vaziri
pp. 195-197

Raymond Grew, ed. Food in Global History.
reviewed by Alfred W. Crosby
pp. 197-199

David Hackett Fischer. The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History.
reviewed by Andre Gunder Frank
pp. 199-203

Joanna Waley-Cohen. The Sextants of Beijing: Global Currents in Chinese History.
reviewed by David G. Atwill
pp. 203-205

Murray Rubinstein, ed. Taiwan: A New History.
reviewed by Edward R. Slack Jr.
pp. 205-207

Frederic J. Baumgartner. Longing for the End: A History of Millennialism in Western Civilization.
reviewed by Lynn Swartz Dodd
pp. 208-210

Richard C. Foltz. The Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century.
reviewed by James R. Corcoran
pp. 211-213

Chye Kiang Heng. Cities of Aristocrats and Bureaucrats: The Development of Medieval Chinese Cityscapes.
reviewed by Laurence J. C. Ma
pp. 213-216

Philip Yale Nicholson. Who Do We Think We Are?: Race and Nation in the Modern World.
reviewed by Paul Gordon Lauren
pp. 216–218

D. E. Mungello. The Great Encounter of China and the West, 1500-1800.
reviewed by James R. Corcoran
pp. 218–221

Peter Mason. Infelicities: Representations of the Exotic.
reviewed by Keith Camacho
pp. 221-223

Beth Fowles Tobin. Picturing Imperial Power: Colonial Subjects in Eighteenth-Century British Painting.
reviewed by Max Quanchi
pp. 223-225

Philip D. Curtin. The World and the West: The European Challenge and the Overseas Response in the Age of Empire.
reviewed by Chris Michelmore
pp. 225-228

Ewen Green, ed. The Ideals of Empire: Economic and Political Thought, 1903-1913.
Peter Cain, ed. The Empire and Its Critics, 1899-1939: Classics of Imperialism.
reviewed by William David Freeman
pp. 228-231

Paul F. Diehl, ed. The Dynamics of Enduring Rivalries.
reviewed by Herbert F. Ziegler
pp. 231-234

Louise Michele Newman. White Women’s Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States.
reviewed by Haunani-Kay Trask
pp. 234-237

Alon Confino. The Nation as Local Metaphor: Württemberg, Imperial Germany, and National Memory, 1871-1918.
Susanne Zantop. Colonial Fantasies: Conquest, Family, and Nation in Precolonial Germany, 1770-1870.
reviewed by Rainer Buschmann
pp. 237-241

Fredrik Logevall. Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam.
reviewed by Pierre Asselin
pp. 241-243

Michael Willis. The Islamist Challenge in Algeria: A Political History.
reviewed by Donald Holsinger
pp. 243-246