During the 18th century, Europeans looked to Asia in a spirit of puzzlement, irony, and openness. In this panoramic survey, Jürgen Osterhammel tells the story of the Enlightenment's encounter with the great civilizations of the East, from the Ottoman Empire to Japan. Such figures as Leibniz, Voltaire, Gibbon, and Hegel took a keen interest in Asian culture and history, while scientists, missionaries, and adventurers returned from afar with fantastic discoveries. As Europe measured itself against its more senior continent, however, even informed statesmen and intellectuals eventually adopted an attitude of bigotry and condescension toward Asia.
Unfabling The East
Author: Jurgen Osterhammel. Robert Savage, trans.