Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference

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Princeton University Press, 2010 - History - 511 pages
3 Reviews

Empires--vast states of territories and peoples united by force and ambition--have dominated the political landscape for more than two millennia. Empires in World History departs from conventional European and nation-centered perspectives to take a remarkable look at how empires relied on diversity to shape the global order. Beginning with ancient Rome and China and continuing across Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa, Jane Burbank and Frederick Cooper examine empires' conquests, rivalries, and strategies of domination--with an emphasis on how empires accommodated, created, and manipulated differences among populations.

Burbank and Cooper examine Rome and China from the third century BCE, empires that sustained state power for centuries. They delve into the militant monotheism of Byzantium, the Islamic Caliphates, and the short-lived Carolingians, as well as the pragmatically tolerant rule of the Mongols and Ottomans, who combined religious protection with the politics of loyalty. Burbank and Cooper discuss the influence of empire on capitalism and popular sovereignty, the limitations and instability of Europe's colonial projects, Russia's repertoire of exploitation and differentiation, as well as the "empire of liberty"--devised by American revolutionaries and later extended across a continent and beyond.

With its investigation into the relationship between diversity and imperial states, Empires in World History offers a fresh approach to understanding the impact of empires on the past and present.


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Review: Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference

User Review  - Vivian Blaxell - Goodreads

As usual in global studies of imperialism, the 75 year Japanese empire is relegated to a few pages of shallow and poorly thought out discussion. The short-lived Kaiser Reich gets better treatment. Historical discounting caused by deep and naturalized cultural/racial bias results. Read full review

Review: Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference

User Review  - Emre Karadeniz - Goodreads

This book explains the meaning of "empire" in pretty clear and scientific way. There is no subjective thought from authors about subject. Read full review


Imperial Trajectories
Imperial Rule in Rome and China
Empire Christianity and Islam
The Mongol Empires
Ottoman and Spanish Empires
Europe Asia and the Americas
EmpireBuilding in Russia and China
Imperial Repertoires and Myths of Modern Colonialism
NineteenthCentury Europe and Its Near Abroad
1914 to 1945
End of Empire?
ary 1945
Empires States and Political Imagination
Suggested Reading and Citations

Empire Nation and Citizenship in a Revolutionary Age
The United States and Russia

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About the author (2010)

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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