The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Jun 3, 2004 - History - 376 pages
3 Reviews
This book challenges the ethnocentric bias of mainstream accounts of the 'Rise of the West'. John Hobson argues that these accounts assume that Europeans have pioneered their own development, and that the East has been a passive by-stander. In contrast Hobson describes the rise of what he calls the 'Oriental West'. He argues that Europe first assimilated many Eastern inventions, and then appropriated Eastern resources through imperialism. Hobson's book thus propels the hitherto marginalised Eastern peoples to the forefront of the story of progressive world history.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

horrible why u skip half the page it goes from 4 straight to freaking straight to 44 please fix makybe higher stars

Selected pages


Countering the Eurocentric myth of the pristine West discovering the oriental West
The East as an early developer the East discovers and leads the world through oriental globalisation 5001800
Islamic and African pioneers building the Bridge of the World and the global economy in the AfroAsian age of discovery 5001500
Chinese pioneers the first industrial miracle and the myth of Chinese isolationism c 10001800
The East remains dominant the twin myths of oriental despotism and isolationism in India Southeast Asia and Japan 14001800
The West was last oriental globalisation and the invention of Christendom 5001498
Inventing Christendom and the Eastern origins of European feudalism c 5001000
The myth of the Italian pioneer 10001492
The myth of 1492 and the impossibility of America the AfroAsian contribution to the catch up of the West 1492c 1700
The Chinese origins of British industrialisation Britain as a derivative late developer 17001846
Constructing European racist identity and the invention of the world 17001850 the imperial civilising mission as a moral vocation
The dark side of British industrialisation and the myth of laissezfaire war racist imperialism and the AfroAsian origins of industrialisation
Conclusion the oriental West versus the Eurocentric myth of the West
The twin myths of the rational Western liberaldemocratic state and the great divide between East and West 15001900
The rise of the oriental West identityagency global structure and contingency

The myth of the Vasco da Gama epoch 1498c 1800
The West as a late developer and the advantages of backwardness oriental globalisation and the reconstruction of Western Europe as the advanced W...

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

The Theft of History
Jack Goody
Limited preview - 2007
All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

John M. Hobson is a Senior Lecturer in Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. He is the author of The State and International Relations (2000), The Wealth of States: A Comparative Sociology of International Economic and Political Change (1997), and co-author (with Linda Weiss) of States and Economic Development: A Comparative Historical Analysis (1995).

Bibliographic information