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Index: Spring-Summer Serial 2012

The Invention of the Modern World 2.

Spring-Summer Serial 2012. Chapter 2: WAR, TRADE AND EMPIRE By Alan Macfarlane. WE START WITH brute force. The energy which projected what I shall argue was an unusual and early modernity through the world came through political, economic and imperial domination.  For most of the most influential period of British history, the ‘long’ nineteenth century […]

The Invention of the Modern World 1.

Alan Macfarlane: The ‘modern world’ was never a peculiar thing. In one sense it was always everywhere, in another it was a set of surface changes in economy and technology which spread rapidly and effortlessly across the world after 1800. Modernity is a tool kit of inventions, many of them originally made in China, then stolen or borrowed and improved, and then re-exported to Asia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The Invention of the Modern World: Preface and acknowledgements.

Alan Macfarlane: ‘This is a book which synthesizes a lifetime of reflection on the origins of the modern world. Through forty years of travel in Europe, Australia, India, Nepal, Japan and China I have observed the similarities and differences of cultures. I have read as widely as possible in both contemporary and classical works in history, anthropology and philosophy.’