“Globalization and the Rush to History” is a curious diptych of an essay. Its first half is a settling of scores, as Appadurai responds to his critics, such as historians like Fred Cooper or anthropologists like Marshall Sahlins, who challenged the novelty of the circa 2000 conjuncture, insisting on its continuity with earlier periods of global integration. Its second half is a kind of social scientific performance art, where Appadurai shows—using the problem of Buddhism in Asia, addressed through an extended commentary on Mikael Gravers’s 2015 essay—how the comparative and connective methods of global history, if reckoned as addressing unprecedented phenomena dispersed over space, can illuminate part of the globalized present. To globalize history, Appadurai argues, is not an effective way to historicize globalization. He proposes as a path forward the project of comparing connectivities in...

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