Coclanis, Peter A. (2010). Round Table on “Fire, Water, Earth, and Sky: Global Systems History and the Human Prospect”: An Introduction. The Journal of the Historical Society, 10(3)
Given the fact that I have always been partial to big, unified approaches to the past—approaches springing from traditions ranging from Annaliste to Marxist, and from world systems to cultural materialist to neo‐classical—I was immediately drawn to Alan Wood's essay in reviewing it as a part of the Journal's double‐blind vetting process. Indeed, although I anticipated that the essay would meet with some opposition and prove controversial, I recommended not only that it be published, but also that a round table be organized around it. The Journal's editors liked the idea, and, once Wood's piece was revised and accepted for publication, they promptly asked me to put my money where my mouth was and to organize such a round table. Without an honorable alternative, I agreed to do so, and, in retrospect, I am very glad I did. For from my perspective, “Fire, Water, Earth, and Sky: Global Systems History and the Human Prospect” is one of the more challenging and potentially catalytic essays I have read in a historical journal in a long time.
The Journal of the Historical Society
Coclanis, Peter A.