His new book, The Verge, focuses on the years 1490 to 1530. It’s a four-decade period that, Wyman explains, laid the groundwork for Western European nations — and later, the United States — to become the dominant players for the next 500 years. At the start of the period, Western Europe was largely a backwater, a collection of far-flung ministates that produced little in the way of goods anyone else wanted to buy. Those countries lagged far behind the Ottoman Empire or Imperial China or a host of other civilizations around the globe. But by the end of the period — thanks to a breathtaking series of technological changes, historical accidents, and decisions that were little understood at the time — these nations had laid the groundwork for dominating the globe.I think he is right that the advances get overcredited to a few great men, like Christopher Columbus.
Friday, December 10, 2021
The Great Men of History
Interview of historian Patrick Wyman: