Technology, Disease and Colonial Conquests, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries

Essays Reappraising the Guns and Germs Theories

How did Europeans prevail in conquering the so-called New World and beyond? For several years scholars have seen an answer to that question in the “Guns, Germs, and Steel” theories of experts like Jared Diamond; namely, that because of superior technology and the introduction of catastrophic disease into the Americas, Europeans succeeded in conquering and colonizing the indigenous peoples. But other historians, including the experts in this volume, think the “Guns and Germs” theories too facile and oversimplified. Noted military historian George Raudzens assembles an international team of scholars in Technology, Disease, and Colonial Conquests, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries to look at the other side of the coin. The “conquered” may actually have had superior technology, including better communication and transportation; and the effects of disease were equally devastating upon the invaders and the invaded. Myriad factors not explained by the Guns and Germs theories contributed to the success of European colonization. This volume keeps an open mind to those.

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George Raudzens is Research Associate, formerly Associate Professor of History, at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. He has written many journal articles on European imperial and military history and his other books are The British Ordnance Department and Canada's Canals, 1815-1855 (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1979) and Empires. Europe and Globalization, 1492-1788 (Sutton Publishing Limited, 1999).
Selected as an Outstanding Academic Title of 2002 by Choice (a publication of the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association)

Raudzens has edited a stunning new collection of essays aimed at reassessing paradigms of conquest that attribute European succeess to superior weaponry or disease...Taken together the eight essays in this collection represent an enormously important new direction in colonialist studies. Highest recommendations for all collections.
Choice, 2002.
This book is addressed to both academic readers and "general" readers interested in early modern Europe, European imperialism and colonization, the fate of New World indigenes, the history of the Americas, and military and technology histories.
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