How the Old World Ended: The Anglo-Dutch-American Revolution, 1500-1800. By Jonathan Scott. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019. Pp. 392. $35.00 hardcover,$16.99 Kindle).

To Begin the World Over Again: How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe. By Matthew Lockwood. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019. Pp. 506. $30.00 hardcover,$15.71 Kindle).

WHEN future historians write the history of our own time, a major theme, it seems safe to say, will be the awareness that we live in a moment of disruption on a planetary scale. Exactly what the historians of tomorrow make of that fact is hard to say. As Jonathan Scott and Matthew Lockwood argue in the books under review here, two things seems clear. The disruptions of the twenty-first century did not begin yesterday, and the North American colonies that became the United States are an important part of the story.

As the long title...