Geography as Destiny?

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Science  12 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5468, pp. 982-983
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5468.982

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The Great Divergence China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy. Kenneth Pomeranz. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2000. 392 pp. $39.95, £25.95. ISBN 0-691-00543-5.

How could some European societies come to project their power throughout the world while China and India failed to do so? Pomeranz argues that the two most important factors behind this divergence were Europe's possession of convenient supplies of coal and European's armed exploitation of other resource-rich areas.