Journal of World History, vol. 22, no. 3 (2011)


The Spiritual Journey of an Independent Thinker: The Conversion of Li Zhizao to Catholicism
Yu Liu, 433

Li Zhizao (d. 1630) was one of the most famous early Chinese Roman Catholics intimately associated with Matteo Ricci (1552–1610), the founder of the Jesuit mission in China. In spite of his fame, Li’s religious experience has not so far been adequately investigated. To understand this crucially important aspect of his life and the related early modern East-West intellectual interaction, this article looks closely into questions about his conspicuously late formal entry into the Church, the peculiar circumstances of his agreement to receive baptism in 1610, and the complex implications of his logically deduced theistic belief for both Confucianism and Christianity.

1774: The Scottish Enlightenment Meets the Tibetan Enlightenment
Gordon T. Stewart, 455

The meeting in 1774 between Lobsang Palden Yeshes (1738–1780), the Third Panchen Lama, and George Bogle (1746–1781), an agent of the East India Company, was the first encounter between Britain and Tibet. This remarkable moment in world history brought the Scottish Enlightenment into contact with Tibetan Lamaist Buddhism. The commentaries written during this episode are used to test the widely held view that Enlightenment thinking led to European imperialism. The evidence from this encounter shows that Enlightenment-era mentalities could be both supportive of and antipathetic to imperialism. The article ends by glancing briefly at Tibetan imperialism in an earlier period to suggest that both Buddhism and the Enlightenment were sometimes implicated in the creation of empires but that neither can be viewed as the root cause of imperialism.

“That Grand Primeval and Fundamental Religion”: The Transformation of Freemasonry into a British Imperial Cult
Vahid Fozdar, 493

In light of recent research on the role of Protestant Christianity in the British Empire, this article explores the possibility that the British actually carried to India a “religion” besides Protestantism, something that mimicked a religion so closely that it could virtually serve as an alternative to Christianity for purposes of imperial consolidation—namely, Freemasonry. The article posits that British Freemasonry, although it emerged from a Christian environment, progressively de-Christianized itself in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and increasingly espoused a religious universalism, which in turn allowed it to serve as an institutionalized, quasi-official, and de facto “civil religion” for the British Empire in India.

Placing China in Its “Proper Rank among the Nations”: The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in China and the First Systematic Account of the United States in Chinese
Michael C. Lazich, 527

This article examines the historical circumstances and analyzes the thinking that led to the formation in 1834 of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge in China. Founded by prominent missionaries and merchants residing in Guangzhou (Canton), the SDUKC sought to convey a more positive impression of Europe and America to Chinese readers by transmitting Western scientific, technological, and cultural information in books and periodicals published in the Chinese language. Among the most representative and historically significant of these publications was the first comprehensive account of the United States of America published in Chinese: the Meilige heshengguo zhilue.

Cultural Translation and the Transnational Circulation of Books
Mark Gamsa, 553

Like other commodities, books have both a material and a sociosymbolic life, whose inherent integration has been too often ignored. Comparative literature and translation studies do not grant sufficient importance to the physical life of the book. Analyses of translation often fail to acknowledge that the (historical) journey by which the book traveled forms an important part of the mental worlds and symbolic mutations that it provokes and undergoes once transported. Scholars of book history, paying much attention to the materiality of the book, usually track a book’s existence only within its original language environment. While cultural anthropology and geography offer the best models for bringing a fuller and richer history of the book into world-historical focus, scholars of consumption and material culture have yet to add books to their lists of circulating commodities. By looking at books as both cultural products and physical objects, this article proposes new perspectives for a study of translation as part of world history. Two case studies from the transmission of Russian books to China, a German-language collection of stories by the Russian writer Mikhail Artsybashev and a Modern Library anthology of Russian short stories in English, are offered as illustrations of the ways in which transnational translation practices mediate between the book as object, as cultural-symbolic artifact in motion, and as text.


Christiane Harzig and Dirk Hoerder with Donna Gabaccia. What Is Migration History?
reviewed by Patrick Manning, 577

Christopher I. Beckwith. Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present
reviewed by Richard Foltz, 580

Micheline R. Ishay. The History of Human Rights: From Ancient Times to the Globalization Era
reviewed by Susan Longfield Karr, 582

Robert Finlay. The Pilgrim Art: Cultures of Porcelain in World History
reviewed by Ralph Croizier, 585

Joyce Appleby. The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism
reviewed by Craig A. Lockard, 588

Ian Almond. Two Faiths, One Banner: When Muslims Marched with Christians across Europe’s Battlegrounds
reviewed by James Muldoon, 595

Kevin van Bladel. The Arabic Hermes: From Pagan Sage to Prophet of Science
reviewed by Hayrettin Yücesoy, 597

David Abulafia. The Discovery of Mankind: Atlantic Encounters in the Age of Columbus
reviewed by W. Jeffrey Bolster, 601

Leonard J. Sadosky. Revolutionary Negotiations: Indians, Empires, and Diplomats in the Founding of America
reviewed by Troy Bickham, 604

Frederick C. Knight. Working the Diaspora: The Impact of African Labor on the Anglo-American World, 1650–1850
reviewed by Candice Goucher, 607

Anne Salmond. Aphrodite’s Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti
reviewed by Harry Liebersohn, 609

Fred Rosen, ed. Empire and Dissent: The United States and Latin America
reviewed by Mark Jaede, 612

Lisa Yun. The Coolie Speaks: Chinese Indentured Laborers and African Slaves in Cuba
reviewed by Philip A. Howard, 615

Ghislaine Lydon. On Trans-Saharan Trails: Islamic Law, Trade Networks, and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Nineteenth-Century Western Africa
reviewed by Bruce Hall, 618

Bruce Grant. The Captive and the Gift: Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus
reviewed by Matthew P. Romaniello, 621

Cathie Carmichael. Genocide before the Holocaust
reviewed by Eric D. Weitz, 623

Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds. Drawing the Global Colour Line: White Men’s Countries and the International Challenge of Racial Equality
reviewed by Tiffany A. Trimmer, 626

Martin J. Wiener. An Empire on Trial: Race, Murder, and Justice under British Rule, 1870–1935
reviewed by Patricia F. Watkinson, 632

Jonathan Miran. Red Sea Citizens: Cosmopolitan Society and Cultural Change in Massawa
reviewed by Erik Gilbert, 635

Daniel W. Crofts. Upstream Odyssey: An American in China, 1895–1944
reviewed by Robert Shaffer, 637

William Kelleher Storey. The First World War: A Concise Global History
reviewed by Melvin E. Page, 640

Mustafa Aksakal. The Ottoman Road to War in 1914: The Ottoman Empire and the First World War
reviewed by M. Erdem Kabadayi, 642

Ilana Feldman. Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917–1967
reviewed by Avram Bornstein, 645

Vít Smetana. In the Shadow of Munich: British Policy towards Czechoslovakia from the Endorsement to the Renunciation of the Munich Agreement (1938–1942)
reviewed by Benjamin Frommer, 647

John Howard. Concentration Camps on the Home Front: Japanese Americans in the House of Jim Crow
reviewed by Michael K. Masatsugu, 650

Elena Shulman. Stalinism on the Frontier of Empire: Women and State Formation in the Soviet Far East
reviewed by Jonathan Bone, 653

Loïc Wacquant. Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality
reviewed by Robert Gay, 656