Book Reviews On the Eighteenth Century as a Category of Asian History: Van Leur in Retrospect. Edited by leonard blussé and femme gaastra. Brookfield, Vt.: Ashgate, 1998. Pp. vii + 313. $89.95 (cloth). Job Van Leur's thirty-five passionate years had an extraordinary effect on the Asian historians who like myself came to maturity in the 1950s and 1960s. The contradictions in his youthful work, to which abundant attention is drawn in this book, make this a little hard for students today to understand. But those introduced to Asia through an already discredited colonial history began to perceive with excitement in his pages how a globally balanced history indebted to Max Weber might be written. Van Leur is usually assumed to have died in the sinking of the USS Houston in Sunda Strait in February 1942. Having volunteered for the Navy after the outbreak of war, despite a gloomy conviction that both he and the Netherlands colonial project he served were doomed, he was placed as Dutch liaison officer on the U.S. cruiser. Jaap Vogel's biography of Van Leur in this book reveals that he left the ship in Batavia shortly before it sank, so that his death is
Journal of World History – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 1, 2001
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