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Why Europe
by Charlie Stevens
26 February 2002 16:58 UTC
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As BY noted, Marvin Harris did supply what continues to be called a "vulgar 
materialist" "explanation" for issues of development and progress that may 
have relevance to the question "why Europe...?"  These are not, in my 
opinion, theoretical formulations currently at the forefront of 
developmental discourses in anthropology (see perhaps Arturo Escobar's 
Encountering Development for that). In addition to the recent Atlantic 
Monthly article mentioned previously (1491), there has been some positive 
consideration of  Diamond, Jared M 1997 Guns, Germs, and Steel : the fates 
of human societies. New York : W.W. Norton which, I believe, has been 
discussed on this list in the past.

With regard to (indirectly) "Why Europe" and, more directly, the immediate 
impact of European expansionism on the (particularly) North American 
continent, the dated James Axwell's 1981 The European and the Indian: 
Essays in the Ethnohistory of Colonial America. Then there is the always 
uplifting piece by Todorov, The Conquest of America....

Perhaps some hints to the question might be found in some old standbys as 
Maurice Dobb, Studies in the Development of Capitalism or Braudel's 
Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism or Part 3, Volume I 
of Myrdal's Asian Drama....?

Charlie Stevens 

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