Comment on Ken Pomeranz's The Great Divergency
With scores of readers in history, the social sciences, and the public at large, Ken Pomeranz's The Great Divergence has been an enormous and well-deserved success. Within history itself, its achievements are nothing short of miraculous, for it has overcome our discipline's obdurate balkanization ("I do early modern Europe—why should I care about Qing China?") and managed to bridge the gap between people who would rarely cross paths or even talk to one another: a world historian, for example, and an economic historian; or a scholar of ancient East Asia and a specialist on the British Industrial Revolution. And it has shaped the research agenda in a variety of history's subfields.