Homo sapiens Populates the Earth: A Provisional Synthesis, Privileging Linguistic Evidence
Abstract: Information on historical linguistics can make a substantial contribution to the understanding of early migrations of Homo sapiens within Africa and throughout the world. This essay summarizes the distribution of language groups around the world and applies basic techniques for analyzing the paths of migration associated with language evolution. The analysis relies on the approach of Joseph H. Greenberg to language classiﬁcation, but it also reviews the continuing differences among linguists on the classiﬁcation of languages and calls for more study to resolve those differences. The interpretation distinguishes between an initial human colonization of the tropics along Indian Ocean shores and a later occupation of temperate Eurasia and the Americas.
Royal French Women in the Ottoman Sultans’ Harem: The Political Uses of Fabricated Accounts from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-first Century
Abstract: The Ottoman sultans’ harem has provided fertile ground for the invention of tales that have been incorporated into the historical tradition. The purported presence of royal French women in the harem has been used for political purposes since the sixteenth century. These tales fall into two groups: myths about a ﬁctional ﬁfteenth-century French princess and fantasies concerning Nakshidil, a nineteenth-century valide sultan who some authors claim was a relative of Napoleon’s wife Josephine. The earlier myths explained the alliance between the Ottoman sultan and the king of France. Fables about Nakshidil have come to symbolize the oppression of women by Islam.
American Missionaries and the Opium Trade in Nineteenth-Century China
Michael C. Lazich
Abstract: America’s earliest missionaries to China in the mid-nineteenth century played a key role in the formulation of early Sino-American relations. This paper explores the changing inﬂuence missionaries had on American policy toward the opium trade as reﬂected in the provisions of the Treaty of Wangxia (1844) and the American Treaty of Tianjin (1858). As missionary attitudes toward the opium issue shifted in a subtle but signiﬁcant manner in the years following the Opium War, so too did the ofﬁcial position of the American government as embodied in the provisions of these treaties and supplemental commercial agreements.
Nicholas Ostler. Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World
Reviewed by Frances Karttunen and Alfred W. Crosby
Ken S. Coates. A Global History of Indigenous Peoples: Struggle and Survival
Reviewed by J.N.F.M. á Campo
Fa-ti Fan. British Naturalists in Qing China: Science, Empire, and Cultural Encounter
Reviewed by Kai-Wing Chow
Geoffrey Jones. Multinationals and Global Capitalism from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-first Century
Reviewed by Clifford L. Staples
Mark Sedgwick. Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century
Reviewed by Colin Beech
Robert Bickers. The Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai
Reviewed by Marcia R. Ristaino