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There has been a sea change in the way history has been taught and written about during the last twenty years or so, apparent in the frequency with which the words 'global' and 'transnational' have come to be used in the titles of books and articles. Historians are much more interested today than in the past in looking at global, not just local or national developments, as well as in tracing transnational encounters and linkages among people of diverse backgrounds. How would these approaches contribute to a fresh understanding of the past? Why did such perspectives emerge at the end of the twentieth century, and what would they do to the development of historical study? These questions are explored through numerous examples from scholarly writings since the 1990s. History teachers and students will find here a guide to where the study of history stands today, and specialists as well as non-specialists in various parts of the world will be interested in the reminiscences and observations of a scholar who has been studying history for more than sixty years.