A Cultural History of the Atlantic World, 1250-1820

A Cultural History of the Atlantic World, 1250-1820

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By (author) John K. Thornton

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 558 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 234mm x 36mm | 771g
  • Publication date: 10 September 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521727340
  • ISBN 13: 9780521727341
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 16 b/w illus. 11 maps
  • Sales rank: 727,080

Product description

A Cultural History of the Atlantic World, 1250-1820 explores the idea that strong links exist in the histories of Africa, Europe and North and South America. John K. Thornton provides a comprehensive overview of the history of the Atlantic Basin before 1830 by describing political, social and cultural interactions between the continents' inhabitants. He traces the backgrounds of the populations on these three continental landmasses brought into contact by European navigation. Thornton then examines the political and social implications of the encounters, tracing the origins of a variety of Atlantic societies and showing how new ways of eating, drinking, speaking and worshipping developed in the newly created Atlantic World. This book uses close readings of original sources to produce new interpretations of its subject.

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Author information

John K. Thornton is Professor of History and African American Studies at Boston University. He is the author of Warfare in Atlantic Africa, 1500-1800 (1999) and Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 1992, 1998) and the co-author of Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles and the Foundation of the Americas, 1585-1660 (Cambridge University Press, 2007) with Linda M. Heywood.

Review quote

'John Thornton captures the moment Africa, Europe and the Americas came together and the new world that was created. A Cultural History of the Atlantic World [1250-1820] will be a foundation stone in the study of the Atlantic, simultaneously an entry point for novices, a reference for established scholars, and a guide for future studies. An extraordinary achievement.' Ira Berlin, University of Maryland 'Only a handful of historians can master the cascading new scholarship on African, Latin American, European and North American history in the pre-modern era. John Thornton is the premier historian of this endeavor. In tracing the emergence of hybrid cultures - from language transfer to evolving political structures to interpenetrating musical styles and forms of worship - he has no equal. Brilliantly covering half a millennium of Atlantic basin interaction, this is a must-read book.' Gary B. Nash, University of California, Los Angeles 'John Thornton's [book] is a remarkable accomplishment. With deep learning and full immersion in source documents from four continents and many languages, he tells a story of the Atlantic basin in the early modern world that identifies broad unities without erasing the complexities of local circumstances. And that story is one with a compelling narrative arc, from its beginnings long before 1492 to its end in the revolutionary upheavals of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.' Daniel K. Richter, University of Pennsylvania 'Finally we have an Atlantic history in which the peoples and cultures of the three continents are given equal weight, and in which Africans, Native Americans and Europeans are all important actors in and creators of this history. The integration of primary sources, current scholarship, and new interpretations makes Thornton's book essential reading for scholars, students and the general public.' Stuart B. Schwartz, Yale University 'His judgements are balanced, his narrative lucid ... impressive.' History Today

Table of contents

Part I. The Atlantic Background: 1. The foundation of the Atlantic world, 1250-1600; Part II. Three Atlantic Worlds: 2. The European background; 3. The African background; 4. The American world, 1450-1700; Part III. The Nature of Encounter and its Aftermath: 5. Conquest; 6. Colonization; 7. Contact; Part IV. Culture Transition and Change: 8. Transfer and retention in language; 9. Aesthetic change; 10. Religious stability and change; 11. The revolutionary moment in the Atlantic.