Metals, Culture and Capitalism: An Essay on the Origins of the Modern World

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 15, 2012 - History - 349 pages
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Metals, Culture and Capitalism is an ambitious, broad-ranging account of the search for metals in Europe and the Near East from the Bronze Age to the Industrial Revolution and the relationship between this and economic activity, socio-political structures and the development of capitalism. Continuing his criticism of Eurocentric traditions, a theme explored in The Theft of History (2007) and Renaissances (2009), Jack Goody takes the Bronze Age as a starting point for a balanced account of the East and the West, seeking commonalities that recent histories overlook. Considering the role of metals in relation to early cultures, the European Renaissance and 'modernity' in general, Goody explores how the search for metals entailed other forms of knowledge, as well as the arts, leading to changes that have defined Europe and the contemporary world. This landmark text, spanning centuries, cultures and continents, promises to inspire scholars and students across the social sciences.
  

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Contents

The Age of Metals in the Ancient Near East
3
A Bronze Age without bronze
33
Metals and society
42
Trade and religion in the Mediterranean
62
The coming of the Iron Age and classical civilisation
85
After the Romans
120
Merchants
137
Capitalism exchange and the Near East
139
Venice and the north
214
Accumulators
247
Iron and the Industrial Revolution
249
Metals capitalism and the renaissances
285
The metallurgy of iron
301
Damascene steel and blades
303
Glossary with the aid of J A Charles
308
Index
330

China and the Eurasian corridor
153
Renewal in the west
187

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About the author (2012)

Jack Goody is Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John's College. Recently knighted by Her Majesty The Queen for services to anthropology, Professor Goody has researched and taught all over the world, is a Fellow of the British Academy and in 1980 was made a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and he was elected Commandeur des Arts et Lettres in 2006.

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