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Discovering How to Describe the World Then and Now: A Review Article

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image of Journal of Early Modern History

The three books under review offer the opportunity to consider attempts to write the history of the wider world from the Renaissance to the present day. Although they are vastly different in focus: from a selection of travel narratives and histories; volumes from a multi-authored reference work to the study of a single street; what they all have in common is their comparative methodology and their extended engagement with non-European cultures. The review endorses Christopher Bayly’s contention that we are all global historians now, only some of us don’t know it. To misquote Benedetto Croce: ‘all history is contemporary (but also comparative) history’.

Affiliations: 1: University of York


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