The World That Trade Created by Kenneth Pomeranz and Steven Topik

51081B64MJL._SX333_BO1,204,203,200_Nonfiction — print. M.E. Sharpe, 2000. 280 pgs. Purchased.

Pomeranz and Topik attempt to dispute the idea that intense globalization and interactions across cultures is a relatively new phenomenon. According to Pomeranz and Topik, the world has been interacting across national boundaries long before the invention of the airplane and the computer. Trading amongst and with indigenous groups across the group knitted small societies to the larger society established by exploring Europeans since the 1400s. Never mind the fact that this trading involved humans trafficking, people being forced to hand over commodities, and the exploitation of indigenous groups as large labor pools.

This was my second attempt at reading Pomeranz and Topik’s book on “Culture, Society and the World Economy, 1400 to the Present”. The first attempt occurred during my sophomore year of high school for my class on world history. I found the book to be incredibly dry and difficult to understand and ended up abandoning the book. Now, five years later, I still find this book to be dry and hard to read and while I did not end up abandoning the book, I did struggle to finish it.

Note: The cover at right is of the second edition of the book, published in 2005. I read the first edition.

The Honors Project:

I read this book for The Honors Project, my own personal challenge to read more books about economics, food, and/or geography in preparation for writing my honors thesis. My goal for this project is to learn as much as I can about these topics so I can formulate better questions and, in turn, produce a better honors thesis. You can find out more information by checking out my introductory post, project post, or spreadsheet of titles.


  1. Such a great subject, too bad they couldn’t reflect that. Being Portuguese, at school, from our earlier history classes we were always brain-washed about the Discovery period, so the idea of globalization being around since 1400s is not a difficult one to accept.


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