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The Colonizer's Model of the World: Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This book challenges one of the most pervasive and powerful beliefs of our time concerning world history and world geography. This is the doctrine of European diffusionism, the belief that the rise of Europe to modernity and world dominance is due to some unique European quality of race, environment, culture, mind, or spirit, and that progress for the rest of the world results from the diffusion of European civilization. J.M. Blaut persuasively argues that this doctrine is not grounded in the facts of history and geography, but in the ideology of colonialism. It is the world model which Europeans constructed to explain, justify, and assist their colonial expansion.

The book first defines the Eurocentric diffusionist model of the world as one that invents a permanent world core, an Inside, in which cultural evolution is natural and continuous, and a permanent periphery, and Outside, in which cultural evolution is mainly an effect of the diffusion of ideas, commodities, settlers, and political control from the core. The ethnohistory of the doctrine is traced from its 16th-century origins, through its efflorescence in the period of classical colonialism, to its present form in theories of economic development, modernization, and new world order. Blaut demonstrates that most Western scholarship is to some extent diffusionist and based implicitly in the idea that the world has one permanent center from which culture-changing ideas tend to emanate. Eurocentric diffusionism has shaped our attitudes concerning race and the environment, psychology and society, technology and politics.

Blaut presents persuasive evidence that Europe was not more highly developed that other civilizations prior to 1492, and had no unique potential--intellectual, social, or environmental--for modernization. He shows that the rise of Europe over other world civilizations occurred because of the wealth obtained in early colonialism, mainly in the mines and slave plantations of the Americas. He then argues that the European conquest and exploitation of the Americas resulted from the fact that Europeans were geographically closer to the Americas than were African and Asian maritime-oriented civilizations, and that the conquest itself was facilitated by the great epidemics of Eastern Hemisphere diseases which decimated the populations and destroyed the civilizations of the New World.

Synopsis:

This book challenges one of the most pervasive and powerful beliefs of our time concerning world history and world geography. This is the doctrine of European diffusionism, the belief that the rise of Europe to modernity and world dominance is due to some unique European quality of race, environment, culture, mind, or spirit, and that progress for the rest of the world results from the diffusion of European civilization. J.M. Blaut persuasively argues that this doctrine is not grounded in the facts of history and geography, but in the ideology of colonialism. It is the world model which Europeans constructed to explain, justify, and assist their colonial expansion.

The book first defines the Eurocentric diffusionist model of the world as one that invents a permanent world core, an "Inside," in which cultural evolution is natural and continuous, and a permanent periphery, and "Outside," in which cultural evolution is mainly an effect of the diffusion of ideas, commodities, settlers, and political control from the core. The ethnohistory of the doctrine is traced from its 16th-century origins, through its efflorescence in the period of classical colonialism, to its present form in theories of economic development, modernization, and new world order. Blaut demonstrates that most "Western" scholarship is to some extent diffusionist and based implicitly in the idea that the world has one permanent center from which culture-changing ideas tend to emanate. Eurocentric diffusionism has shaped our attitudes concerning race and the environment, psychology and society, technology and politics.

Synopsis:

This influential book challenges one of the most pervasive and powerful beliefs of our time--that Europe rose to modernity and world dominance due to unique qualities of race, environment, culture, mind, or spirit, and that progress for the rest of the world resulted from the diffusion of European civilization. J. M. Blaut persuasively argues that this doctrine is not grounded in the facts of history and geography, but in the ideology of colonialism. Blaut traces the colonizer's model of the world from its 16th-century origins to its present form in theories of economic development, modernization, and new world order.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 217-236) and index.

About the Author

J. M. Blaut is professor of geography at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is the author of three book and numerous articles on the historical and political geography of the Third World.

He was also the Recipient of the Distinguished Scholarship Honors of the Association of American Geographers Honors for 1997.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780898623482
Author:
Blaut, J. M.
Author:
Blaut, James M.
Author:
Blaut, Jm
Publisher:
Guilford Publications
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
History
Subject:
World
Subject:
Human Geography
Subject:
Eurocentrism
Subject:
Eurocentrism -- History.
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
History -- Philosophy.
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
9358
Publication Date:
19931031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
246
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Historiography
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Historiography

The Colonizer's Model of the World: Geographical Diffusionism and Eurocentric History New Trade Paper
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Product details 246 pages Guilford Publications - English 9780898623482 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
This book challenges one of the most pervasive and powerful beliefs of our time concerning world history and world geography. This is the doctrine of European diffusionism, the belief that the rise of Europe to modernity and world dominance is due to some unique European quality of race, environment, culture, mind, or spirit, and that progress for the rest of the world results from the diffusion of European civilization. J.M. Blaut persuasively argues that this doctrine is not grounded in the facts of history and geography, but in the ideology of colonialism. It is the world model which Europeans constructed to explain, justify, and assist their colonial expansion.

The book first defines the Eurocentric diffusionist model of the world as one that invents a permanent world core, an "Inside," in which cultural evolution is natural and continuous, and a permanent periphery, and "Outside," in which cultural evolution is mainly an effect of the diffusion of ideas, commodities, settlers, and political control from the core. The ethnohistory of the doctrine is traced from its 16th-century origins, through its efflorescence in the period of classical colonialism, to its present form in theories of economic development, modernization, and new world order. Blaut demonstrates that most "Western" scholarship is to some extent diffusionist and based implicitly in the idea that the world has one permanent center from which culture-changing ideas tend to emanate. Eurocentric diffusionism has shaped our attitudes concerning race and the environment, psychology and society, technology and politics.

"Synopsis" by ,
This influential book challenges one of the most pervasive and powerful beliefs of our time--that Europe rose to modernity and world dominance due to unique qualities of race, environment, culture, mind, or spirit, and that progress for the rest of the world resulted from the diffusion of European civilization. J. M. Blaut persuasively argues that this doctrine is not grounded in the facts of history and geography, but in the ideology of colonialism. Blaut traces the colonizer's model of the world from its 16th-century origins to its present form in theories of economic development, modernization, and new world order.
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