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The Theft of History (review)

The Theft of History (review) journal of world history, september 2009 The Theft of History. By jack goody. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. 352 pp. $79.00 (cloth); $24.99 (paper). In recent decades, social scientists have come to think more critically about the way we produce representations of the "Orient" and "Occident" and about the constructed nature of these categories themselves. Edward Said's Orientalism (1978), of course, has done much to further this critical awareness. Jack Goody's The Theft of History contributes to this effort by calling attention to the Eurocentrism inherent in past and present social science scholarship. Drawing upon an impressive range of sources in English, French, and other languages, Goody argues, "Europe has stolen the history of the East by imposing its own versions of time (largely Christian) and of space on the rest of the Eurasian world" (p. 286). Goody is critical of teleological history that presupposes progress in terms of a unique trajectory from feudalism to capitalism. European scholars, he says, have taken Europe to be "set on a self-sufficient, selfmade course in Antiquity which led inevitably through feudalism, to colonial and commercial expansion, and then to industrial capitalism" (p. 293). Yet, Goody notes in an insightful statement, "what http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of World History University of Hawai'I Press

The Theft of History (review)

Journal of World History , Volume 20 (3) – Sep 6, 2009

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
ISSN
1527-8050
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Abstract

journal of world history, september 2009 The Theft of History. By jack goody. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. 352 pp. $79.00 (cloth); $24.99 (paper). In recent decades, social scientists have come to think more critically about the way we produce representations of the "Orient" and "Occident" and about the constructed nature of these categories themselves. Edward Said's Orientalism (1978), of course, has done much to further this critical awareness. Jack Goody's The Theft of History contributes to this effort by calling attention to the Eurocentrism inherent in past and present social science scholarship. Drawing upon an impressive range of sources in English, French, and other languages, Goody argues, "Europe has stolen the history of the East by imposing its own versions of time (largely Christian) and of space on the rest of the Eurasian world" (p. 286). Goody is critical of teleological history that presupposes progress in terms of a unique trajectory from feudalism to capitalism. European scholars, he says, have taken Europe to be "set on a self-sufficient, selfmade course in Antiquity which led inevitably through feudalism, to colonial and commercial expansion, and then to industrial capitalism" (p. 293). Yet, Goody notes in an insightful statement, "what

Journal

Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Sep 6, 2009

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