Between 1870 and 1945, advances in communication and transportation simultaneously expanded and shrank the world. New technologies erased distance and accelerated the global exchange of people, products, and ideas on an unprecedented scale. A World Connecting focuses on an era when growing global interconnectedness inspired new ambitions but also stoked anxieties and rivalries that would erupt in two world wars – the most destructive conflicts in human history.
In five interpretive essays, distinguished historians Emily S. Rosenberg, Charles S. Maier, Tony Ballantyne, Antoinette Burton, Dirk Hoerder, Steven C. Topik, and Allen Wells illuminate the tensions that emerged from intensifying interconnectedness and attempts to control and shape the effects of sweeping change. Each essay provides an overview of a particular theme: modern state-building; imperial encounters; migration; commodity chains; and transnational social and cultural networks. With the emergence of modern statehood and the fluctuating fate of empires came efforts to define and police territorial borders. As people, products, capital, technologies, and affiliations flowed across uneasily bounded spaces, the world both came together and fell apart in unexpected, often horrifying, and sometimes liberating ways.
A World Connecting goes beyond nations, empires, and world wars to capture the era's defining feature: the profound and disruptive shift toward an ever more rapidly integrating world.
Introduction [Emily S. Rosenberg]
I. Leviathan 2.0: Inventing Modern Statehood [Charles S. Maier]
1. The World Is Weary of the Past
2. Reconstruction on a World Scale
3. The Human Zoo
4. States of Exception
II. Empires and the Reach of the Global [Tony Ballantyne and Antoinette Burton]
1. Reterritorializing Empires
2. Remaking the World
3. Global Empires, Transnational Connections
III. Migrations and Belongings [Dirk Hoerder]
1. A Longue-Durée Perspective
2. The Global and the Local
3. Migrations, Free and Bound
4. Migrations during War and Depression
5. The Aftermath of War and Decolonization
IV. Commodity Chains in a Global Economy [Steven C. Topik and Allen Wells]
2. The Sinews of Trade
3. Commodity Chains
V. Transnational Currents in a Shrinking World [Emily S. Rosenberg]
1. Currents of Internationalism
2. Social Networking and Entangled Attachments
3. Exhibitionary Nodes
4. Circuits of Expertise
5. Spectacular Flows
Emily S. Rosenberg is a Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. Akira Iriye is Charles Warren Professor of American History, Emeritus, at Harvard University. Jürgen Osterhammel is a Professor of Modern History at the University of Konstanz.
"Each of [A World Connecting's] five chapters draws on a massive range and quantity of source material. Each manages not only to synthesize this material, but also to make fresh arguments about it. Taken together, the chapters provide a broad picture of the way certain sorts of global connections changed between 1870 and 1945 [...] In sum, the contributions bring together a remarkable body of insights about global connections and networks."
– David A. Bell, The New Republic
"A World Connecting should be of interest to American specialists precisely because of the rich empirical data marshaled, the fruitful hypotheses embedded in the arguments, and the myriad of scholarly works cited and included in the bibliography. This book should become a standard reference tool not only for global history, but also for supplying the wider contexts for conceptualizing American history from a transnational angle [...] [This] is a very large book of over a thousand pages, and each of the five sections could well command a detailed review in itself. In many ways, the individual chapters qualify as tour-de-force achievements in the agendas they have set. Not only is the material handled in a magisterial fashion, but arresting interpretations also appear at almost every turn. Historians of specific periods of national history like the American Gilded Age will profit from consulting this work."
– Ian Tyrrell, H-Net Reviews