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The Transformation of the World:
A Global History of the Nineteenth Century
Jürgen Osterhammel
Translated by Patrick Camiller

Jürgen Osterhammel, Winner of the 2012 Gerda Henkel Prize, of the Gerda Henkel Foundation

Hardcover | 2014 | $39.95 / £27.95 | ISBN: 9780691147451
1192 pp. | 6 x 9 | 6 tables. | SHOPPING CART

eBook | ISBN: 9781400849949 |
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Reviews | Table of Contents
Introduction[PDF] pdf-icon
A Q&A with the author

A monumental history of the nineteenth century, The Transformation of the World offers a panoramic and multifaceted portrait of a world in transition. Jürgen Osterhammel, an eminent scholar who has been called the Braudel of the nineteenth century, moves beyond conventional Eurocentric and chronological accounts of the era, presenting instead a truly global history of breathtaking scope and towering erudition. He examines the powerful and complex forces that drove global change during the “long nineteenth century,” taking readers from New York to New Delhi, from the Latin American revolutions to the Taiping Rebellion, from the perils and promise of Europe’s transatlantic labor markets to the hardships endured by nomadic, tribal peoples across the planet. Osterhammel describes a world increasingly networked by the telegraph, the steamship, and the railways. He explores the changing relationship between human beings and nature, looks at the importance of cities, explains the role slavery and its abolition played in the emergence of new nations, challenges the widely held belief that the nineteenth century witnessed the triumph of the nation-state, and much more.

This is the highly anticipated English edition of the spectacularly successful and critically acclaimed German book, which is also being translated into Chinese, Polish, Russian, and French. Indispensable for any historian, The Transformation of the World sheds important new light on this momentous epoch, showing how the nineteenth century paved the way for the global catastrophes of the twentieth century, yet how it also gave rise to pacifism, liberalism, the trade union, and a host of other crucial developments.

Jürgen Osterhammel is a distinguished scholar of the history of modern China and professor of modern and contemporary history at the University of Konstanz. He is the 2010 recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, Germany’s most prestigious academic prize. His books in English include Globalization: A Short History (Princeton) and Colonialism.

Review:

" A work of tremendous conceptual precision, breadth and insight, a masterpiece that sets a new benchmark for debates on the history of world society."--Benjamin Ziemann, Times Literary Supplement

"[A] big book in every sense. . . . An age of such panoramic creations deserves a chronicler with suitably panoramic inclinations. It has found a very able one in Jurgen Osterhammel."--Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Wall Street Journal

"A milestone of German historical writing, one of the most important historical books of the last several decades. . . . [A] mosaic-like portrait of an epoch."--Jürgen Kocka, Die Zeit

"[W]eighty in every sense of the word. . . . [A]n epic, masterly and sprawling mosaic of the age that built on, if only as reaction, foundations laid down by the Enlightenment. . . . Osterhammel's compelling structuring brings home that the way we understand the world today is largely determined by institutions and innovations of the 19th century--and a peculiarly Eurocentric lens they provide. Alive to the potential for bias that this inevitably brings, the German historian has taken pains to create a genuinely world history of the age. . . . [T]he rendering of such a mind-boggling tapestry of human experience is deft and accessible."--Ben Richardson, South China Morning Post

"[A] 1165 pp. German Braudel-like take on the importance of the 19th century."--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

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      File created: 9/5/2014

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