The Lords of Human Kind

European Attitudes to Other Cultures in the Imperial Age

Victor Kiernan

The Lords of Human Kind

Victor Kiernan

Distributed for Zed Books

With an Introduction by Eric Hobsbawm
384 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 1969, 2015
Paper $18.95 ISBN: 9781783604296 Published March 2015 For sale in North and South America only
When European explorers went out into the world to open up trade routes and establish colonies, they brought back much more than silks and spices, cotton and tea. Inevitably, they also brought back impressions of the people with whom they came into contact—impressions that, while occasionally admiring, were more often hostile or contemptuous.

First published in 1969, and a major influence on a generation of historians and cultural critics, Victor Kiernan’s The Lords of Human Kind reveals the full range of those responses. Drawing on a wide array of sources, including missionaries’ memoirs, letters from the wives of diplomats, explorers’ diaries, and the work of writers as diverse as Voltaire, Thackeray, Goldsmith, and Kipling, Kiernan presents a sweeping account of European attitudes to other peoples that emerged from the Age of Exploration, endured through the colonial era, and, with some changes, persist in today’s more multicultural Europe.

Erudite, ironic, and global in scope, The Lords of Human Kind is a landmark in the history of Eurocentrism, ready to reach a new generation of readers.
Contents
Prefatory note by Heather Kiernan
A Tribute to Victor Kiernan by Eric Hobsbawm
Foreword by John Trumpbour
Preface to the first edition
Preface to the 1995 edition
1. Introduction
2. India
3. Other Colonies in Asia
4. The Islamic World
5. The Far East
6. Africa
7. The South Seas
8. Latin America
9. Conclusion
Index
Review Quotes
Eric Hobsbawm | Guardian
“A marvellous book, fresh as on the day of first publication and ready for a new generation of readers.”
Counterfire
The Lords of Humankind remains an important resource for the history of racism and empire, and is a finely written book, with a frequently sardonic tone at the expense of self-revealing imperialists.”
 
 
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