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Histories of Economic Life
Jeremy Adelman, Sunil Amrith, and Emma Rothschild, Series Editors
This series will bring together the work of a new generation of scholars writing the history of economic life. Times of economic transformation have frequently, as in the 1820s, 1890s and 1930s, been periods of intense creativity in economic history and the history of economic thought. More recently, transformations in the early 21st century have led to long-term change in the worldwide economy and are having similar creative effects. Like earlier changes, these processes require historical explanations. Yet economic history was in the 1990s a subject in decline among historians, and of interest only to a small group of applied economists. In the past few years, all this has changed. The realities of globalization have drawn attention to the interconnected features of social change; to a large extent the global turn in scholarship has also contributed to greater interest in the economic dimensions of our lives. The history of economic life is concerned with exchanges across national frontiers and is continuous with other aspects of life, particularly the history of the environment and law. It traverses the conventional divisions of scholarship according to regions and time periods, and it eschews traditional divisions into “social” versus “cultural” versus “intellectual.” It sees economic life as shaped by ideas, concepts, expectations and sentiments and engages with biography and micro-historical investigation of individuals and households. Finally, it is a history of economic thought and lived experience in widely different social circumstances trying to illuminate the experiences of individuals and groups. The Histories of Economic Life series is designed to both showcase and encourage the cutting-edge research being done by some of the most outstanding historians in this exciting new field of historical inquiry.