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Strange Parallels
Southeast Asia in Global Context, c.800–1830

Volume 2. Mainland Mirrors: Europe, Japan, China, South Asia, and the Islands


Part of Studies in Comparative World History

  • Date Published: January 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521530361

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • Blending fine-grained case studies with overarching theory, this book seeks both to integrate Southeast Asia into world history and to rethink much of Eurasia's premodern past. It argues that Southeast Asia, Europe, Japan, China, and South Asia all embodied idiosyncratic versions of a Eurasian-wide pattern whereby local isolates cohered to form ever larger, more stable, more complex political and cultural systems. With accelerating force, climatic, commercial, and military stimuli joined to produce patterns of linear-cum-cyclic construction that became remarkably synchronized even between regions that had no contact with one another. Yet this study also distinguishes between two zones of integration, one where indigenous groups remained in control and a second where agency gravitated to external conquest elites. Here, then, is a fundamentally original view of Eurasia during a 1,000-year period that speaks to both historians of individual regions and those interested in global trends.

    • Incorporates premodern Southeast Asia into global history
    • Identifies and explains a pattern of cyclic-cum-linear integration across Eurasia during a 1,000-year period
    • Integrates climatic, commercial, political, and cultural history for Eurasia at large and for Eurasia's principal regions
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Victor Lieberman's two-volume opus is the most important work of history produced so far this century … It is no exaggeration to say that Strange Parallels is a paradigmatic work. It will inform our understanding of human history for generations to come.' The American Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521530361
    • length: 976 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 58 mm
    • weight: 1.34kg
    • contains: 25 b/w illus. 10 maps 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. A far promontory: Southeast Asia and Eurasia
    2. Varieties of European experience (I): the formation of Russia and France to c.1600
    3. Varieties of European experience (II): a great acceleration, c.1600–1830
    4. Creating Japan
    5. Integration under expanding Inner Asian influence (I): China: a precocious and durable unity
    6. Integration under expanding Inner Asian influence (II): South Asia: patterns intermediate between China and the protected zone
    7. Locating the islands

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Politics and Religions of Southeast Asia
    • World Economic History
  • Author

    Victor Lieberman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    Both a specialist in precolonial Burma and a comparativist interested in global patterns, Victor Lieberman graduated first in his class from Yale University and obtained his doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. His publications include Burmese Administrative Cycles: Anarchy and Conquest, c.1580–1760, which won the Harry J. Benda Prize from the Association for Asian Studies; Beyond Binary Histories: Re-Imagining Eurasia to c.1830, which he edited and an earlier version of which appeared as a special issue of Modern Asian Studies devoted to Lieberman's scholarship; and Strange Parallels: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c.800-1830, Volume 1: Integration on the Mainland, which won the World History Association Book Prize. He is the Marvin B. Becker Collegiate Professor of History and Professor of Southeast Asian History at the University of Michigan.

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