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Central Asia and the Steppe, Antiquity to the Modern Era

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Central Asia and the Steppe, Antiquity to the Modern Era



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Reads 33
Language English
Central Asia and Empire
Cherie Woodworth
HIST S372 // Summer 2011
View the following movie trailer:
What did this film get wrong? What did this film get right?
These questions are just the beginning.
We will also consider the following:
Did Chingiz Khan really mean to become a world conqueror? How was he able to
amass such a formidable army? What happened after the Mongol conquests?
What caused the Central Asian “barbarians” – Scythians, Huns, and Mongols – to
sweep through civilized regions in devastating attacks?
Why did the Khazars convert to Judaism?
What was the Silk Road, why was it famous, and why has it led us astray?
Why has this region – including Afghanistan -- been so persistently impossible to
What are the golden peaches of Samarkand, and why were they famous?
What surprising parallel in the history of the United States do we see in the
history of Central Asia?
Course texts: (recommended to buy)
Chistopher Beckwith,
Empires of the Silk Road. A History of Central Eurasia from the
Bronze Age to the Present
(Princeton, 2009) [$30; available used]
Jack Goody,
The Eurasian Miracle
(Polity Press, 2010) [$20; also available used]
Peter Perdue,
China Marches West
(Harvard Belknap, 2005) [$20; also available used]
Thomas Barfield,
Afghanistan. A Cultural and Political History
(Princeton, 2010),
available online [$30; also available used]
(optional to buy; also available on reserve)
Xinru Liu,
The Silk Road in World History
(Oxford, 2010) [$20 new, also available used;
$10 digital]
Peter Golden,
Central Asia in World History
(Oxford, 2011) [$20; $10 digital]
Morris Rossabi,
The Mongols and Global History
(Norton, 2011) [$15]
Kenneth Pomerantz,
The Great Divergence. China, Europe, and the Making of the World
(Princeton, 2000) [$20, also available used]
Kenneth Pomeranz and Steven Topik,
The World that Trade Created
(M. E. Sharpe,
2006) [$20, also available used and digital]
Books on course reserve: (class readings, do not buy)