In all ages tribes, races, states or nations have interrelated with trade, treaties and, all too often, war. But not until the mid-16th century did dominating groups assume that success on the battlefield meant superiority of culture. As a result, certain cultural patterns and outlooks have dominated at the expense of others -- for example, the Judeo-Christian view of history as a linear, uni-directional process, over the cyclical view held by many other cultures. This landmark collection of essays and lectures explores key encounters in many times and places, including Constantinople and Baghdad through the middle ages, the British in India, and present-day situations in China, Columbia and Malaysia. The subjects treated are as diverse as the relationship between the Indian guru and his followers; the influences that have made modern China what it is; and the classical literature of Soviet Georgia. Also included are contributions from three eminent authors on questions of ecology, population and energy. Contributors include Martin Holdgate, Eugene Grebenick, Alexander King, G.M. Carstairs, and Peter Brent.