Global history has come of age. The question is whether the age is adolescence, maturity, or senility. This mainly competent and sometimes excellent collection, by no fewer than thirty-two scholars, suggests that the art has reached a point somewhere between the first two categories. Its editor, Jerry Bentley, prefers the term ‘world history’, for reasons never made entirely clear—perhaps simply in honour of his pioneering Journal of World History. For me, ‘world history’ has uncomfortable implications of universality and of stratospheric grand narratives. ‘Global history’ is not perfect, but it is better. It allows for sub-global ‘worlds’ (the Arab World, the Spanish World) and it hints at history ‘in the round’—seen from all possible perspectives. But any dynamic field is going to contest its definitions, and this is no big deal. Bentley’s introduction is magisterial, and his insistence in his own...

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview
Article PDF first page preview
You do not currently have access to this article.