Journal of World History, vol. 24, no. 2 (2013)


The Rise and Global Significance of the First “West”: The Medieval Islamic Maghrib
Fabio López Lázaro, 259

Evidence exists that the first historically verifiable use of the term “West” as a self-ascriptive political construct occurred in the medieval Almohad Muslim empire that united al-Andalus (Iberia) and North Africa in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Known as the Maghrib in Arabic, this hegemonic label served successfully as a strategic synecdoche for the Almohads’ ideological reformulation of their African-European society. While surrounding polities admired and imitated the Almohad West, its philosophical underpinnings created an intellectual revolution that threatened both Islamic and Christian elites and ultimately undermined Islamic toleration of Christian and Jewish subjects. Comprehending the Maghrib’s complex role in the creation of Western civilization clarifies the dialectical relationship of its two political heirs, modern Islamic North Africa and Christian Europe.

Ages of Sail, Ocean Basins, and Southeast Asia
Jennifer L. Gaynor, 309

The Age of Sail commonly refers to European endeavors after roughly 1450. However, two other examples of maritime efflorescence and decline occurred just before this. Early Ming imperial fleets and long-distance voyaging in Oceania relativize and throw into relief the contingency of the European accomplishment. After discussing these two examples, this article shows how they raise questions about the limits of an ocean basins framework and explores why Southeast Asia sits indistinctly between scholarly orientations that look predominantly westward across the Indian Ocean and eastward across the Pacific. In light of evidence that shows large oceangoing Southeast Asian ships were active in contemporaneous Indian Ocean networks, and in view of other features of the region’s maritime history, it suggests that attention to Southeast Asia’s connections with Oceania may merit further investigation.

Like Lambs in Japan and Devils outside Their Land: Violence, Jurisdiction, and the Japanese Trade Diaspora
in Southeast Asia

Adam Clulow, 335

Beginning in the first decade of the seventeenth century, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the effective ruler of Japan, sent dozens of letters to Cochinchina, Cambodia, Patani, the Philippines, and other states and colonies scattered across Southeast Asia. The dispatch of these documents marked a significant shift in Japanese diplomatic patterns. For the first time, Japan broke decisively from the confines of East Asia to connect with wider networks of trade and diplomacy. If the fact that such documents could be sent in the first place reveals new possibilities for engagement, their content highlights some of the problems created by the expansion of maritime trade routes in this period. Dispatched in response to a string of incidents in ports across the region, these letters provide clear evidence of the frequent violence that accompanied the Japanese push into Southeast Asia. In their willingness to shift easily between trade and violence, Japanese merchants bear a striking resemblance to their European rivals who appeared in the region at roughly the same time, and the last section of this article focuses on what these letters can tell us both about the similarities but also the key differences between these groups. In particular, it argues that these documents reveal a divergent attitude toward the relationship between state and subject that accounts in part for the relative success that Europeans enjoyed in early modern Asia.

Western Utopias, Missionary Economics, and the Chinese Village
Margherita Zanasi, 359

This article explores the impact of Western economics on early twentieth-century Chinese economic thought by focusing on the work of Richard Tawney and John Bernard Tayler on the modernization of Chinese agriculture. Tawney’s and Tayler’s approaches differed considerably. An established economic historian from the London School of Economics, Tawney was committed to a purely social science approach. Tayler, a Protestant missionary and professor of economics at Yanjing University, was representative of what the emerging group of Western academic economists called “missionary economics,” which combined economic reforms with evangelical goals. Despite their differences, however, both Tawney and Tayler saw in the Chinese rural village an opportunity to create their own version of a social and economic utopia, a living critique of Western industrial modernity.

From Below and to the Left? Human Rights and Liberation Politics in Africa’s Postcolonial Age
Meredith Terretta, 389

During the 1950s, the African United Nations Trust Territories became pivotal sites where the human rights principles outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights played a complementary role to anticolonial nationalism. A transregional human rights network provided international support to African nationalists and rights activists, and the Trusteeship Agreements and the UN Charter that administering authorities had signed set the conditions for legally implementable human rights norms. But as the trusteeship system came to a close circa 1960, the UN no longer had the jurisdictional means to enforce rights principles, and the transatlantic network that activists throughout Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States had put in place began to disintegrate. In the 1960s, the human rights movement in the global North parted ways with liberation politics as it narrowly redefined human rights as negative protections for individuals. Yet, as this comparative analysis of human rights in Tanzania and Cameroon reveals, in some parts of (post)colonial Africa, particularly in the former UN trust territories where a 1950s-era conception of rights had become prevalent, human rights remained the expression of a political solidarity rooted in the liberatory practices of anticolonial struggle.


Peter Fibiger Bang and C. A. Bayly, eds. Tributary Empires in Global History
reviewed by Laura Hostetler, 417

Debin Ma and Jan Luiten van Zanden, eds. Law and Long-Term Economic Change: A Eurasian Perspective
reviewed by Ming-te Pan, 420

Shahzad Bashir. Sufi Bodies: Religion and Society in Medieval Islam
reviewed by Adam Sabra, 424

Marguerite Ragnow and William D. Phillips Jr., eds. Religious Conflict and Accommodation in the Early Modern World
reviewed by J. Michael Raley, 426

E. Natalie Rothman. Brokering Empire: Trans-Imperial Subjects between Venice and Istanbul
reviewed by Nükhet Varlik, 431

Patrick Manning. The African Diaspora: A History through Culture
reviewed by Jonathan R. Walz, 434

Stephan Palmié and Francisco A. Scarano, eds. The Caribbean: A History of the Region and Its Peoples
reviewed by Benjamín N. Narváez, 437

Douglas W. Allen. The Institutional Revolution: Measurement and the Economic Emergence of the Modern World
reviewed by Gerard M. Koot, 440

Brendan Simms and D. J. B. Trim, eds. Humanitarian Intervention: A History
reviewed by Branden Little, 443

José C. Moya, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Latin American History
reviewed by Elizabeth Manley, 447

John Lynch. New Worlds: A Religious History of Latin America
reviewed by Lee M. Penyak, 451

Jonathan Scott. When the Waves Ruled Britannia: Geography and Political Identities, 1500–1800
reviewed by Dan Beaver, 454

Owen Stanwood. The Empire Reformed: English America in the Age of the Glorious Revolution
reviewed by Kevin R. Hardwick, 456

Julian Go. Patterns of Empire: The British and American Empires, 1688 to the Present
reviewed by Troy Bickham, 458

Larrie D. Ferreiro. Measure of the Earth: The Enlightenment Expedition That Reshaped Our World
reviewed by Kelly J. Whitmer, 460

Mark Fiege. The Republic of Nature: An Environmental History of the United States
reviewed by Erik Loomis, 463

Karen Oslund. Iceland Imagined: Nature, Culture, and Storytelling in the North Atlantic
reviewed by Guðmundur Hálfdanarson, 465

Brian Porter-Szűcs. Faith and Fatherland: Catholicism, Modernity, and Poland
reviewed by Nathaniel D. Wood, 468

Patrick Brantlinger. Taming Cannibals: Race and the Victorians
reviewed by Bethany Kilcrease, 472

Shelley Baranowski. Nazi Empire: German Colonialism and Imperialism from Bismarck to Hitler
reviewed by Wendy Lower, 474

Michael R. Auslin. Pacific Cosmopolitans: A Cultural History of U.S.-Japan Relations
reviewed by Carrie Khou, 477

Dirk Hoerder and Nora Faires, eds. Migrants and Migration in Modern North America: Cross-Border Lives, Labor Markets, and Politics
reviewed by Suzanne M. Sinke, 479

Robert Trent Vinson. The Americans Are Coming! Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa
reviewed by Alan Scot Willis, 481

Nwando Achebe. The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe
reviewed by Assan Sarr, 483

R. Keith Schoppa. In a Sea of Bitterness: Refugees during the Sino-Japanese War
reviewed by Yuma Totani, 485

Laura Bier. Revolutionary Womanhood: Feminisms, Modernity, and the State in Nasser’s Egypt
reviewed by Nancy Y. Reynolds, 488

Curt Cardwell. NSC 68 and the Political Economy of the Early Cold War
reviewed by Richard M. Filipink, 491

Peter Gatrell. Free World? The Campaign to Save the World’s Refugees, 1956–1963
reviewed by Carl Bon Tempo, 493

Niko Besnier. On the Edge of the Global: Modern Anxieties in a Pacific Island Nation
reviewed by Alexander Mawyer, 495