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The essays in this volume confront stereotypical images of merchants as men, and sometimes women, who stood outside their cultures, beyond history. Ranging across eras, from medieval business practices to modern hucksterism of autobiographical morality tales, the authors of this volume find that merchants cannot be separated from their times. From the (Ottoman) Middle East to the (American) Midwest, the contributors to Trading Cultures emphasize the embeddedness of merchants in geographically and culturally specific contexts. The trading careers reconstructed in this book dwell on mercantile concerns with honor as much as profit, trust as much as truck, and, above all, familial connections as much as individuated enterprise.
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Jeremy Adelman (D. Phil. Oxford University) is currently the chair of the history department at Princeton University and the Walter S. Carpenter III Professor of Spanish Civilization and Culture at Princeton University. He has written and edited five books, including Republic of Capital: Buenos Aires and the Legal Transformation of the Atlantic World (1999), which won the best book prize in Atlantic history from the American Historical Association. Professor Adelman is the recent recipient of a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the Frederick Burkhardt Award from the American Council of Learned Societies.
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