The Political Economy of Shopkeeping in Milan, 1886-1922

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This book analyzes the business, geography and politics of shopkeeping in Milan between 1886 and 1922. The author studies the trades, techniques, tax structure and topography of the Milanese retail sector, addresses questions relating to petit bourgeois identity, and explains why shopkeepers were to be found on the political right in the years that led up to the Fascist takeover. This is the first full-scale study of any aspect of the experience of the Italian petite bourgeoisie in the pre-Fascist period.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With great clarity Morris delineates the composition and economic geography of the esercenti, or shopkeepers....[His] book is a wonderful example of the injunction, hammered home by a new generation of Italianists like John Davis, to think local." American Historical Review

"...elegantly constructed and persuasive." Louise A. Tilly, Business History Review

"In analyzing the experience of the petite bourgeoisie 'on its own terms,' Morris has significantly added to our understanding of the business of shopkeeping itself. He has also contributed to our understanding of the politics, ideology, and local circumstances that influenced the behavior of the Milanese shopkeepers in the years prior to the Fascist takeover in Italy." Traci Andrighetti and Claudio G. Segrè, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"...a comprehensive, three-dimensional view of shopkeepers that belies easy political categorization or simplistic class interpretation, and yet which still manages to discern patterns and generalizations of real historical important contribution to our knowledge of politics in modern Italy, not only in its main themes but also in its examination of a previously unknown sector of society and its various formal associations. He provides the kind of careful, creative study based on primary resources that modern Italian historiography critically needs." Steven C. Hughes, Journal of Modern History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521391191
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/25/1993
  • Series: Past and Present Publications Series
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Shopkeeping as a historical problem; 1. The business of shopkeeping in Milan 1859–1915; 2. The context of shopkeeping: trades and techniques; 3. The economic geography of shopkeeping: the role of the dazio consumo; 4. The esercenti enter the political arena; 5. Constructing the esercenti movement 1886–1890; 6. The esercenti and the Depression 1890–1897; 7. Shopkeepers, cooperatives and the politics of privilege; 8. Milan and the national small business movement 1886–1898; 9. The allargamento debate 1895–1897; 10. The end of century crisis and the enlargement of the dazio belt; 11. Shopkeeping in the new century; 12. Labour relations and class politics; 13. The esercenti and the centre-left administration 1900–1905; 14. Shopkeepers and socialists; Conclusion: Identity and autonomy.
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