Journal of World History, vol. 23, no. 2 (2012)


Chordophone Culture in Two Early Modern Societies: A Pipa-Vihuela Duet
James A. Millward, 237

To make the case for more attention by world historians to music as a universal human phenomenon, this article compares the socioeconomic niches, cultural associations, and technical and technological development of plucked stringed instruments in sixteenth-century Spain and Ming China. An examination of the interrelationship of vihuela, lute, and guitarra, on the one hand, with the guqin and pipa, on the other, reveals similar patterns of gender, class, and ethno-national meaning becoming attached to these instruments. In particular, both vihuela and pipa changed morphologically, and playing style grew more virtuostic in tandem with the instruments’ rising popularity among urban classes in Spain and China. Moreover, the vihuela and likely the pipa as well were made from more exotic materials as their respective homelands became more engaged in global trade.

Women Warriors and National Heroes: Augustina de Aragón and Her Indian Sisters
Adrian Shubert, 279

Historians of modern Europe have lately become interested in hero cults and what they can reveal about the construction of national identities. This interest has begun to move beyond studies located in individual states to examine this aspect of the politics of the past within a European rather than a purely national context. This article represents an initial effort to explore hero cults in an even broader frame by considering a European woman warrior and national hero, the Spaniard Agustina de Aragón, in comparative perspective. Taking Lakshmi Bai and Jhalkari Bai, two women warriors and heroes from India’s First War of Independence in 1857, as the point of departure, the article compares the ways in which the figure of Agustina de Aragón has been represented and used since her act of heroism against Napoleon in 1808. This comparison of hero cults in a European and a non-European country can potentially be a first step toward development of a globalized perspective on the politics of the past.

A Crisis of Images: The French, Jihad, and the Plague in Upper Egypt, 1798–1801
Zeinab Abul-Magd, 315

Informed by postcolonial critique, this article presents an alternative approach to the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt from 1798 to 1801. Focusing on Upper Egypt, it argues that military misfortunes were not the reason behind the rapid failure of the colonizer. Rather, a crisis of images was at work. French experts on the Orient imagined oppressed natives awaiting their liberation and imagined themselves as competent liberators and managers of resources. In reality, the French faced manipulative natives and a holy war, and they had to reinstall the very ancient régime they came to depose. The French brought environmental destruction to Upper Egypt with a massive wave of plague.

Orientalists in Love: Intimacy, Empire, and Cross-Cultural Knowledge
Stephen Jankiewicz, 345

Cross-cultural and colonial knowledge depended upon intimate and domestic contexts of production. Homes, friendships, and romances constituted a dynamic realm that was often obscured by the authoritative public image of Western intellectuals studying a foreign culture. This article investigates two cross-cultural “couples” significant to the history of Orientalism. Gertrude Bell conceptualized Iraq largely through the person of her intimate friend, King Faisal, struggling to balance her affection for him with her desire for control. Lafcadio Hearn negotiated the culture of Japan with the help of his Japanese wife, Setsu Koizumi. In both cases, love, power, and knowledge were deeply interconnected.

Consumer Culture, Market Empire, and the Global South
James P. Woodard, 375

The development of U.S. consumer culture and its advance through Western Europe has absorbed the attention of many U.S. and European historians who are increasingly in dialogue with one another. Efforts to include the rest of the world as a subject in this dialogue, however, have been unsatisfactory. This is regrettable, considering that greater attention to the history of the global expansion of U.S. consumer culture has much to offer historians, from problematizing geopolitical taxonomies (e.g., the West vs. the Rest, First World vs. Third World, North Atlantic vs. Global South) to highlighting the importance of transnational actors, agents, and circuits, not only in the history of consumption but in national and regional histories as well.


Reorienting the Discovery Machine: Perspectives from China and Islamdom on Toby Huff’s Intellectual Curiosity and the Scientific Revolution: A Global Perspective
Ting Xu and Khodadad Rezakhani, 401

In today’s increasingly globalized world, meta-narratives covering long eras and extensive spaces while seeking to explain complex phenomena such as the divergence and convergence in living standards attract attention and interest. Toby Huff’s Intellectual Curiosity and the Scientific Revolution: A Global Perspective is the latest scholarly contribution to the Great Divergence debate. Taking the issue of knowledge generation, accumulation, and diffusion as its point of departure and trying to locate the Scientific Revolution in comparative global history, Huff addresses one of the lesser-discussed aspects of the aforementioned debate. This article first reviews Huff’s main thesis and then offers detailed responses from the perspectives of Chinese and Middle Eastern and Islamic history. It concludes with an appraisal of Huff’s approach to global history.


Edmund Burke III and Kenneth Pomeranz, eds. The Environment and World History
reviewed by Niklas Robinson, 413

Timothy H. Parsons. The Rule of Empires: Those Who Built Them, Those Who Endured Them, and Why They Always Fall
reviewed by Vahid Fozdar, 416

Robert L. Tignor. Egypt: A Short History
reviewed by Paul Sedra, 419

Timur Kuran. The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East
reviewed by Zouhair Ghazzal, 422

Carol Benedict. Golden-Silk Smoke: A History of Tobacco in China, 1550–2010
reviewed by Matthew P. Romaniello, 426

Margaret Abruzzo. Polemical Pain: Slavery, Cruelty, and the Rise of Humanitarianism
reviewed by Colleen A. Vasconcellos, 429

Walter Hawthorne. From Africa to Brazil: Culture, Identity, and an Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600–1830
reviewed by Steven J. Salm, 431

Ilan Pappé. The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian Dynasty: The Husaynis, 1700–1948
reviewed by Weldon C. Matthews, 435

James R. Fichter. So Great a Proffit: How the East Indies Trade Transformed Anglo-American Capitalism
reviewed by Martha Chaiklin, 438

Ilya Vinkovetsky. Russian America: An Overseas Colony of a Continental Empire, 1804–1867
reviewed by Ryan Jones, 440

Leon Fink. Sweatshops at Sea: Merchant Seamen in the World’s First Globalized Industry, from 1812 to the Present
reviewed by James P. Kraft, 443

Eric T. Jennings. Imperial Heights: Dalat and the Making and Undoing of French Indochina
reviewed by Christina Firpo, 445

Helen Tilley. Africa as a Living Laboratory: Empire, Development, and the Problem of Scientific Knowledge, 1870–1950
reviewed by Matthew V. Bender, 447

Glenn A. Chambers. Race, Nation, and West Indian Immigration to Honduras, 1890–1940
reviewed by Molly Todd, 451

Michael Adas, ed. Essays on Twentieth-Century History
reviewed by Kenneth L. Shonk Jr., 454

Ronald Grigor Suny, Fatma Müge Göçek, and Norman M. Naimark, eds. A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire
reviewed by Michael M. Gunter, 456

Tammy M. Proctor. Civilians in a World at War, 1914–1918
reviewed by Christopher Fischer, 459

Xu Guoqi. Strangers on the Western Front: Chinese Workers in the Great War
reviewed by Joshua H. Howard, 462

Julián Casanova. Martin Douch, trans. The Spanish Republic and Civil War
reviewed by Scott Eastman, 465

Mark Peattie, Edward J. Drea, and Hans van de Ven, eds. The Battle for China: Essays on the Military History of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937–1945
reviewed by Ke-Wen Wang, 469

Sara D. Shields. Fezzes in the River: Identity Politics and European Diplomacy in the Middle East on the Eve of World War II
reviewed by Meir Zamir, 472

Thomas S. Mullaney. Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China
reviewed by Jeff Kyong-McClain, 475

Maria Höhn and Seungsook Moon, eds. Over There: Living with the U.S. Military Empire from World War Two to the Present
reviewed by Sabine Frühstück, 478

David L. Anderson, ed. The Columbia History of the Vietnam War
reviewed by Shelton Woods, 482

Heonik Kwon. The Other Cold War
reviewed by Suzy Kim, 484

Manlio Graziano. The Failure of Italian Nationhood: The Geopolitics of a Troubled Identity
reviewed by Silvana Patriarca, 488