© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 1999 JESHO 42,4 1) See JESHO 40.4 (1997), van der Veer 1998; Washbrook 1998. 2) Goldstone 1998, p. 261. 3) Goldstone 1998, pp. 269 and 271. ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO (THIN) AIR BY PETER VAN DER VEER ( University of Amsterdam ) It is an interesting experience to be invited by the editors of a journal to comment on a number of published papers dealing with ÒmodernityÓ and then to Þ nd that comment followed in print by a lengthy and unrestrained surprise- attack on oneÕs scholarship and moral standing by one of the editors who doubles as one of the authors of the papers under discussion. 1 ) I had never before thought that studying Ôthe early modernÕ or Ôthe pre-modernÕ or Ôalter- native modernityÕ would leave one with so much appetite for polemics and with so little interest in scholarly exchange and indeed respect for invited com- mentators. To engage with this level of furiously protested selfrighteousness is slightly distasteful and I feel only justi Þ ed in doing so, because my position has been grossly and willfully misrepresented by David Washbrook. Allow me there- fore to clarify brie
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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