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: Strange Parallels. Volume 1 [Integration on the Mainland: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c. 800-1830], Volume 2 [Mainland Mirrors: Europe, Japan, China, South Asia, and the Islands: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c.800-1830]
: Victor Lieberman
: Cambridge University Press
: 2003, 2009
: pdf
: 510+977
: 12.0
:

This ambitious work has two novel goals: to overcome the extreme fragmentation of early Southeast Asian historiography, and to connect Southeast Asian to world history. Combining careful local research with wide-ranging theory Lieberman argues that over a thousand years, each of mainland Southeast Asia's great lowland corridors experienced a pattern of accelerating integration punctuated by recurrent collapse. These trajectories were synchronized not only between corridors, but most curiously, between the mainland as a whole, much of Europe, and other sectors of Eurasia. He describes in detail the nature of mainland consolidation - which was simultaneously territorial, religious, ethnic, and commercial - and dissects the mix of endogenous and external factors responsible. Here, then, is a fundamentally original analysis not only of Southeast Asia, but of the pre-modern world.

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.













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