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Beijing is courting Santiago. In , Atlantic contributing editor Paul Starobin sat down with Alexander Litvinenko for an interview over lunch.

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They talked about Litvinenko's defection, his relationship with notorious Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky, and his suspicions about Putin and the FSB. Following Litvinenko's recent poisoning, Starobin dug out his notes.

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Before Mark Warner was a politician, he was a wildly successful entrepreneur—and his success as a huckster shows why he may be a formidable challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination. Two of the men Paul Starobin interviewed for his December Atlantic piece on Kazakhstan's autocratic president have since been killed. Starobin comments. Many of the values and cultural attributes that once made the United States unique have eroded; those that remain look increasingly ugly to some foreigners.


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Is our evolving national character a liability in our foreign relations? Wells and Arnold Toynbee. Scholars intent upon stretching the parameters of the debate and narrative to include even the Big Bang itself joined. Indeed, I think it is fair to say that the WHA, reflecting the breadth of its object of study and seeking to parry its academic and outside critics, has embraced its pedagogical responsibilities and mission more than most professional organizations.

Subsequent authors have underlined how this historical narrative emerged from the understanding of historical change and relationships that was shaped in part by perceived needs arising around the time of World War I and, later, the Cold War.


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Belatedly, academic world history globalized. The Agricultural Revolutions simply had to be studied in their plural form, the Roman Empire could be contrasted with the Han, Christian pilgrims with Buddhist and Muslim ones, and exchanges in the Mediterranean and Atlantic juxtaposed to those across the Sahara, Silk Road or Indian Ocean. Slave trades, the birth of nationstates, the rise of modern empires, and industrial revolutions could be compared worldwide, the world wars examined in all their theaters and from multiple perspectives and so on.

Hopkins usefully identifies both trends within the existing historiography and a typology to group globalizations, and set out an impassioned agenda for future study and research. On the one hand, they should continue the work of world historians by studying the development, past and present, of those processes that transcend local, national or regional levels. The interactions of these factors in a changing political and economic environment, he asserts, has resulted in the compression of time and space that we know of as globalization itself.

It is perhaps revealing, then, that its flagship journal New Global Studies , founded in , omits mention of history in its title. Along these lines, it can be instructive to examine the ways world historians describe contemporary globalization by examining some of the major textbooks used in college-level U.

After America: Narratives for the Next Global Age

Often co-authored by leading historians, vetted by dozens of reviewers, and subject to multiple editions and corrections, textbooks offer approachable narratives intertwined with the world history consensus that began to appear roughly twenty to thirty years ago. At the same time, however, the discussion of these broad issues and themes tends to describe globalization, rather than explain or analyze its development or maintenance.

Technology, in the form of transport and communications revolutions, like containerized shipping and the internet, get their due. The text also nods toward the post-Cold War rise of neo-liberal economic policies promoting the reduction of state spending, regulations, tariffs and taxes as well as the privatization of state-owned industries.

It focuses on the transnational corporations that shuttle their production capacities around the world in a search for the most advantageous labor and environmental climates. Many international corporations located regional offices there. Members of societies now often identified more with local, subnational, or international movements or cultures, rather than with nation-states. But even in the bibliographies and suggestions for further reading that are featured in most U. Two exceptions help to prove the point. What this brief review does suggest, though, is that the world history community has fallen short in not engaging a debate that generated tremendous interest for an extended period throughout and beyond the academy.

Abu-Lughod, Janet L.

Where in the World Is America?

Oxford: Oxford University Press. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

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