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Cover image for product 0745611575
Bitterli
ISBN: 978-0-7456-1157-0
Paperback
224 pages
August 1993, Polity
This is an out of stock title.
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Most histories of exploration are written from the viewpoint of the explorers. This book, now available in paperback, focuses instead on the cultural encounters between European explorers and non-European people, reconstructing the experiences of both sides. The result is a remarkable work of comparative cultural history, ranging from North America to the South Pacific and from the voyages of Columbus to those of Captain Cook.

Bitterli distinguishes three basic forms of cultural encounter: superficial contact, as in the early relations between Europe and China; a prolonged relationship, like that between missionaries and the North American Indians; and collision, leading to the destruction of the weaker partner, as happened in the Spanish Conquest of the West Indies and of Mexico. In a series of case studies Bitterli examines these types of cultural encounter, drawing on a wide range of primary sources.

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