Timothy Brook is a historian of China and the world at the University of British Columbia, where he holds the Republic of China Chair at the Institute of Asian Research. He has written eight books and edited nine, in addition to serving as editor-in-chief of Harvard University Press’s six-volume History of Imperial China. Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global Age (2008), was awarded the Mark Lynton Prize from the Columbia School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. More recent are his coauthored Death by a Thousand Cuts, a study of Chinese historical executions; and The Troubled Empire, an environmentally grounded survey of Chinese history from 1260 to 1644. He is currently writing a book on the integration of geographical knowledge between Europe and Asia in the seventeenth century, tentatively entitled Sailing from China.