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Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. Juli 2011


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Pressestimmen

Winner of the 2011 Book Prize, World History Association One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2010 "This is a very big book on an enormous subject. For anybody who assumes imperial history is all about Britain, with some 19th-century European imitators on the side, it will be something of a shock. For Burbank and Cooper, imperial history is world history. The authors also make a point popular among academics who hate the idea of borders keeping the underprivileged out of rich nations, that empires can be confederations of different peoples united by an all-encompassing ideal. 'Sovereignty can be shared, layered and transformed,' they write. Whether or not you agree with the implications of this argument, the weeks it will take bedtime history buffs to get through this book will be time well spent."--Stephen Matchett, The Australian "This exemplary work, clearly laid out and fluently written, is a must for every undergraduate library, though more advanced scholars will also find much in it."--Choice "A tour d'horizon through world history based on a stupendous knowledge of the literature, both authors take as their leitmotif the question of how empires have dealt with diversity and analyze the most varied constellations of imperial control."--Andreas Eckert, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung "Jane Burbank's and Frederick Cooper's Empires in World History is a very useful and impressive reference book."--Sheldon Kirshner, Canadian Jewish News "Empires in World History provides a powerful teaching tool for framing the sometimes fluid and complex relationships between empires and nation-states, subjects and citizens, inclusion and exclusion... This book will likely prove most useful in graduate courses in empire and/or world history and to teachers who are seeking a way to teach about empire without simply jumping from one to the next."--Clif Stratton, World History Bulletin "A good read for those interested in any of the empires discussed or in the rise and fall of megastates."--A. A. Nofi, StrategyPage.com "Empires in World History is one of the clearest written surveys of empires available. It will serve well as an introductory text for university students and as a reference for scholars."--Michael J. Seth, European Legacy "Empires in World History ... provides fresh insight into the strategies of imperial rule that have sustained empires over time... It will be a useful text for both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as general readers interested in imperial histories."--Paula Hastings, World History Connected

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Jane Burbank is professor of history and Russian and Slavic studies at New York University. Her books include "Intelligentsia and Revolution" and "Russian Peasants Go to Court". Frederick Cooper is professor of history at New York University. His books include "Decolonization and African Society" and "Colonialism in Question".

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29 von 31 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Empires Molders of Nation-States 31. August 2010
Von Serge J. Van Steenkiste - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Professors Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper deviate from the traditional narrative about the birth and development of the nation-state. Both authors contend that a world of bounded and unitary states interacting with other equivalent states dates from 1948 C.E. rather than 1648 C.E. and the Treaty of Westphalia. For this reason, professors Burbank and Cooper explore instead the rise and fall of specific empires, their imaginary, their interaction with each other, and their respective repertoires of power.

Professors Burbank and Cooper demonstrate convincingly that throughout history, most people have lived in empires that did not aim to represent a single nation. Unlike nation-states that tend to homogenize those inside their polity, empires treat different nations within their polity differently. Conflicts among empires, resistance of conquered people, and rebellions of settlers were some key factors in any cost-benefit analysis of empire-building and sustenance.

To their credit, professors Burbank and Cooper clearly explain the vertical nature of power relations within empires, as leaders try to recruit reliable intermediaries to manage distant territories and achieve contingent accommodation to their rule. Empires used a wide variety of repertoires of rule such as reliance on a class of loyal, trained officials, empowerment of (select) citizens, marriage politics, and tribal allegiances to secure these essential intermediaries. Both authors also explore in much detail how empires vied with each other to become or remain the top "dog" over time. Imperial strategies such as restriction of competitive empires' connections, imperialism of free trade, and alliance of different empires against one or more other empires were in use at the intersection of empires.

In conclusion, professors Burbank and Cooper give their audience a great opportunity to broaden their horizon by considering an alternative read on the history of humanity. As a side note, History could produce a new series on empires, states, and political imagination as a complement to its existing series "Engineering an Empire."
34 von 38 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Too Descriptive 8. Januar 2011
Von R. Albin - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book is aimed at rebutting 2 ideas; that the nation-state is the "natural" form of political organization and that the emergence of nation-states is the logical "end" of history. The authors provide a selected survey of large polities from the Roman Empire to the present to demonstrate that various forms imperial organization were the norm for much of human history, and that the emergence of nation-states was a highly contingent and incomplete process. The authors provide generally good surveys of a variety of empires. The quality of writing is generally clear with solid narrative and analysis. Each section is backed by a good bibliography for future reading. The authors may have tried to pack too much into this book. It is very difficult to do justice to many of the topics covered in the space allowed and some sections have a superficial quality. Some discussions, for example, the brief analyses of the outbreak of WWI or the authors' attempted comparison of the "class" versus "patrimonial" features of the early Hapsburg versus Ottoman empires are brief to the point of being misleading. Some sections are marred by inaccurate statements. I doubt, for example, that British and French troops employed machine guns in the second Opium War, its not correct that the Allies assisted the French with "reconquering" North Africa in WWII (Tunisia yes, Algeria and Morocco no), and Salazar's Portugal and Franco's Spain were not fascist states. The authors sometime overlook overlook some interesting and ironic features related to post-WWII decolonialization. The authors refer consistently to American Cold War policy as "imperial" but overlook the interesting fact that American policy towards Southeast Asia and Korea in the 1940s and 1950s was partly an effort to rescusitate some of the economic features of the Japanese Empire.

A bigger defect of this book is the relatively low level of analysis. The authors' primary targets, the normality and historical necessity of the nation-state, are not exactly straw men, but neither are they particularly difficult targets. The authors use an extremely elastic definition of empire that amounts to almost any large polity that is not a nation-state. Its not particularly enlightening to pull such varied polities as Imperial Rome, the contemporary Peoples Republic of China, Chinggis Khan's Mongol Empire, and the Soviet Union into one category. The authors themselves provide a very good example of the limited utility of their concept of empire in their extended comparison of the very different socities of 19th century Russia and the 19th century USA. Under the authors definition, the European Union can qualify as an empire. I'm very skeptical that its useful to use the concept of empire to compare something like the Qing empire with the recently industrialized PRC. For example, power in the former depended (as the authors point out) on co-option and manipulation of regional and local elites (what the authors call "intermediaries") but power in the latter, and in all industrialized states, depends at least partly on some form of mass politics. This is a fundamental difference and one obscured by the authors' effort to lump the Qing and the PRC as empires.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Empires and Power in World History 17. September 2014
Von Shawn M. Warswick - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Published in 2010, this award winning book is co-written by Jane Burbank, professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University (Ph.D. Harvard 1981) and Frederick Cooper, a specialist in African history who is also currently at New York University (Ph.D. Yale 1974). In it the authors argue that, while today we see empires as passé and abnormal, the historical reality is that it is the nation-state that is a modern anomaly and empire is the most common political form throughout world history.

The book is loosely divided into two halves, with the first half setting up the theoretical framework the authors will use and focusing mostly on empires prior to the modern period (chapters six and seven deal with the early portion of what is traditionally seen as the modern era). Discussed in the first chapter, the conceptual framework is based on the idea that empires maintain distinction and modes of hierarchy as they incorporate new peoples. To prove their argument the authors use five themes: differences within empires (and how they deal with them); Imperial intermediaries (sent out to take charge of new territories); Imperial intersections (the relationship between and among empires); Imperial imaginaries (i.e. imperial context); and repertoires of power (empire, according to the authors, is an ambiguous type of state which can and often does redefine its allocation of power depending on the situation).

The major criticism with this work is that while the authors have big ideas and patterns, these patters are based on specific locations and interactions, thus fall apart when applied to locations outside of those chosen by the authors. The second criticism is that the authors do make mistakes when dealing with empires outside of their own areas. An example is when they suggest the Byzantine empire had an army of over 600,000 men. Modern scholars put the number at half of this, and this mistake makes one wonder if there were others in the book when dealing with areas outside of the author's expertise. The strengths of this book lay in it's weakness: the big ideas and framework lend themselves to using this as the basis for a class comparing empires. The fact that it is broken down into 14 chapters even makes one wonder if perhaps they have done just that. Either way, even with its weaknesses, this book represents a great achievement and is an interesting read.
21 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Old wine, new bottles 16. August 2011
Von N. Perz - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
For all the pretensions and occasional post-modernist jargon, EiWH is a fairly run-of-the-mill history. It's little more than a series of profiles of various empires throughout history with little real analysis or universal theory (of which I would be skeptical anyway). Say you're walking through a park and say "oh, look! A flower." Then walking a little longer you say "oh, look! Another flower." Noticing the flowers and how they differ really isn't studying Botany. Just putting together a bunch of profiles on different empires really isn't doing history. After about 80% through the re-hash of familiar material became too frustrating and I put the book on the shelf. EiWH may be useful as an overview for a general reader but I don't see this book having much worth beyond that.

Not recommended.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fantastic telling of Empires of the Europe and Asia 4. Dezember 2013
Von Jack D Ham, Jr - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This book even as a class text was incredible. It reads very well and has tons of information. If you are at all curious about Empires through history and how they were able to maintain themselves you should read this book.
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