Book Reviews much further, suggesting that written commercial documents did not have legal standing as evidence in Islamic law. As such, they were not strictly speaking legal documents that could be introduced to resolve disputes. This, Lydon argues, was an impediment to fuller development of commerce across the Sahara. One wonders also, following this line of argument, the extent to which scarcities of paper created bottlenecks in the scale and scope of trans-Saharan trade before the nineteenth century. Lydon has written an important book that is both rich and comprehensive in its treatment of a very difficult subject. It will stand as a milestone and reference in our understanding of the historical connections across the Sahara. bruce hall Duke University The Captive and the Gift: Cultural Histories of Sovereignty in Russia and the Caucasus. By bruce grant. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2009. 216 pp. $68.50 (cloth); $21.95 (paper). Anthropologist Bruce Grant has produced a thought-provoking study of historical memory and its impact on contemporary political and cultural movements. The book examines the period from 1800 to the modern day, as the Caucasus region was claimed by the tsarist empire, transitioned through the Soviet era, and attempted to
Journal of World History – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Sep 4, 2011
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