The Old World, the New World, and the Creation of the Modern World, 1400-1650: An Interpretive History

By Paugh, Katherine E. | The Journal of Southern History, November 2014 | Go to article overview

The Old World, the New World, and the Creation of the Modern World, 1400-1650: An Interpretive History


Paugh, Katherine E., The Journal of Southern History


The Old World, the New World, and the Creation of the Modern World, 1400-1650: An Interpretive History. By Aaron M. Shatzman. (New York and other cities: Anthem Press, 2013. Pp. xxii, 199. Paper, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-85728-328-3; cloth, $116.95, ISBN 978-0-85728-333-7.) Aaron M. Shatzman sets out to revive Frederick Jackson Turner's frontier thesis, applying it to the entire history of European colonialism from the fifteenth through the mid-seventeenth centuries. In the process, Shatzman replicates the blind spots implicit in Turner's vacuous frontier. As Shatzman describes European colonial endeavors, he is constantly preoccupied with the import of European encounters with the "open space" and "wilderness" of the Americas. Shatzman ignores recent scholarship that has urged us, in historian Daniel K. Richter's words, to face "east from Indian country" (Facing East from Indian Country: A Native Histoiy of Early America [Cambridge, Mass., 2001]). The question of how Native Americans perceived European imperialism is hardly addressed. Native Americans do make occasional appearances, but the focus is on describing how Europeans perceived them. …

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