Labour, Science and Technology in France, 1500-1620

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In this detailed study, Henry Heller challenges the dominant approach to the history of early modern France, that of the Annales school, with its emphasis on long-term economic and cultural forces. He reexamines the history of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in France, and finds a surprising degree of economic, technological and scientific innovation. At the same time, he contests the view that the religious conflicts of the period ought only to be understood in strictly religious terms.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This important advance in social and economic history will be the subject of much seminar-room debate." Choice

"This book is especially valuable for its rediscovery of the technological literature of the era and its demonstration of just how many contemporaries sought to develop innovative solutions to the economic problems of the time." Philip Benedict, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"...Heller offers important perspectives that prompt us to reconsider the way in which we understand sixteenth-century France. He raises issues that he feels have been badly neglected and, accordingly, warrant reconsideration....Heller gives us a first-rate reassessment of early modern France and, above all, integrates science and technology with far-reaching shifts in the economic structure." Raymond A. Mentzer, The Sixteenth Century Journal

"...provides a well-rounded picture of a society in which ideas of technical progress and increasing production were beginning to find a place." Alex Keller, Isis

"Heller presents rich and little-known evidence for the century's technological fertility." Labor History

"His book contains many stimulating ideas..." William Beik, American Historical Review

"This fine study combines an erudite discussion of certain aspects of French history with a bold new interpretive framework. It will likely provoke much discussion among historians of early modern France, and it is an important work for other students of early modern Europe as well." Pamela O. Long, Renaissance Quarterly

"Henry Heller's book on the political economy of Renaissance France efficiently builds an argument okf admirable force." Ken Alder, Jrnl of Modern History

"...a powerfully different approach to the study of the early-modern French economy, in practice and in theory. Heller's work provids a much-needed starting point for a re-examination of the early modern French economy." James B. Collins, Journal of Economic History

" learns much from this important, interesting, and engaging book..." Cynthia M. Truant, Labor History

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. The expansion of Parisian merchant capital; 2. Labour in Paris in the sixteenth century; 3. Civil war and economic experiments; 4. Inventions and science in the reign of Charles IX; 5. Expropriation, technology and wage labour; 6. The Bourbon economic restoration; 7. Braudel, Le Roy Ladurie and the inertia of history.

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