Journal of World History, vol. 21, no. 1 (2010)


From Three Possible Iron-Age World-Systems to a Single Afro-Eurasian World-System
Philippe Beaujard, 1

Hypothesized Western and Eastern world-systems of the Late Bronze Age collapsed in the twelfth and eleventh centuries b.c. before a new phase of integrations occurred in these areas (western Asia, northern Africa, and southern Europe on the one hand; China on the other). This article argues that in the first millennium B.C., these two world-systems experienced three long cycles marked by hegemonic transitions between competing regions. The recessions that we observe stemmed partly from climatic deteriorations on varying scales around 800, 400, and 200 B.C. The growth of networks and states was furthered by technological, institutional, and ideological innovations. A number of empires arose in western Asia, which aimed at controlling spaces and peoples between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. An Indian world-system developed, which partly merged with the western system from the fourth century B.C. From the third century B.C., changes in western Asia, China, and India and the extension of exchange networks favored the opening of land routes across central Asia and maritime routes in the Indian Ocean and China Seas. The rise of new centers in the western Mediterranean region accompanied a growing integration of Europe into the Western system. The three world-systems identified probably fused into a single world-system in the first century A.D., when the rise of exchange networks led to an interdependence of their various regions.

Satisfying the “Want for Labouring People”: European Slave Trading in the Indian Ocean, 1500–1850
Richard B. Allen, 45

A review of published scholarship on British, Dutch, French, and Portuguese slave trading in the Indian Ocean indicates that between 1500 and 1850, Europeans shipped a minimum of 431,000 to 547,000 slaves of African, Indian, and Southeast Asian origin to destinations within this oceanic basin. These data and available information about the nature and dynamics of European slave trading in the Indian Ocean region point to the development of an increasingly integrated global movement of chattel and other kinds of forced labor from the sixteenth through mid nineteenth centuries.

It’s a Man’s World? World History Meets the History of Masculinity, in Latin American Studies, for Instance
Ulrike Strasser and Heidi Tinsman, 75

This article explores the vexed relationship between studies of gender and sexuality, especially as they relate to masculinity, and the growing field of world history. These bodies of scholarship have largely remained separate, even antagonistic, despite shared thematic concerns with transnational flows. Overall, world historians privilege political economy and global connections, while historians of gender and sexuality concern themselves with the cultural production of difference in specific locales. The case of U.S.-based Latin American studies offers ways of thinking across the culture versus economy divide; above all, it suggests that world history can usefully be narrated as a story of masculinities.

Script Charisma in Hebrew and Turkish: A Comparative Framework for Explaining Success and Failure of Romanization
İlker Aytürk, 97

Romanization is a particular form of script conversion and refers to the process by which a Roman-based alphabet is created for a language previously written with either a nonalphabetic script or a non-Roman alphabet. Nearly half the world’s population today uses the Roman alphabet, and since the late nineteenth century, it has become a charismatic script, to use Max Weber’s term, expanding out of its traditional base in Western Christendom. In addition to the success stories in Romania, Vietnam, and Turkey, there have been numerous attempts to Romanize local scripts in Japan, India, China, and Greece, to cite a few examples, which ended up as failures. This article aims at providing a theoretical framework for explaining success and failure of Romanization through a comparative, in-depth study of two speech communities, Hebrew and Turkish. Independent variables such as harmony between language and script, level of literacy, costs of change, past experiences of script conversion, regime type, availability of canonical texts, and attitudes toward the West are discussed as factors that influence the choice of script.


Eleanor Robson. Mathematics in Ancient Iraq: A Social History
reviewed by Lis Brack-Bernsen, 131

Kasia Szpakowska. Daily Life in Ancient Egypt: Recreating Lahun
reviewed by Eugene Cruz-Uribe, 134

Bill Freund. The African City: A History
reviewed by Carolyn E. Vieira-Martinez, 136

Nicholas Howe, ed. Ceremonial Culture in Pre-Modern Europe
reviewed by Catherine L. Howey, 138

Charles H. Parker and Jerry H. Bentley, eds. Between the Middle Ages and Modernity: Individual and Community in the Early Modern World
reviewed by Gregory Hanlon, 140

Rainer Decker. H. C. Erik Midelfort, trans. Witchcraft and the Papacy: An Account Drawing on the Formerly Secret Records of the Roman Inquisition
reviewed by Michael D. Bailey, 145

Jessica L. Harland-Jacobs. Builders of Empire: Freemasons and British Imperialism, 1717–1927
reviewed by William D. Moore, 148

Glyn Williams. The Death of Captain Cook: A Hero Made and Unmade
reviewed by Michael E. Harkin, 150

Peter Silver. Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America
reviewed by Nancy Shoemaker, 153

Timothy Marr. The Cultural Roots of American Islamicism
reviewed by Aminah Beverly McCloud, 154

Iain McCalman. Darwin’s Armada: Four Voyages and the Battle for the Theory of Evolution
reviewed by William C. Kimler, 158

Ian J. Barrow. Surveying and Mapping in Colonial Sri Lanka: 1800–1900
reviewed by Subho Basu, 160

John Glover. Sufism and Jihad in Modern Senegal: The Murid Order
reviewed by Cheikh Anta Babou, 164

Ann Zulawski. Unequal Cures: Public Health and Political Change in Bolivia, 1900–1950
reviewed by Susan Tanner, 167

Dolores L. Augustine. Red Prometheus: Engineering and Dictatorship in East Germany, 1945–1990
reviewed by Scott Moranda, 169

David A. Westbrook. Navigators of the Contemporary: Why Ethnography Matters
reviewed by Magnus Fiskesjö, 172