Merchants, Mamluks, and Murder: The Political Economy of Trade in Eighteenth-Century Basra
Using the case of the murder of a Jewish merchant in 1791 as the backdrop to this study of Ottoman Basra's long-distance trade in the eighteenth century, Thabit A. J. Abdullah takes a novel comparative approach to Middle Eastern and Indian Ocean historiography. He examines three broad interrelated issues, all of which have a direct bearing on the case of the Jewish merchant. First, the overall nature of Basra's trade is examined; second, the book looks at the city's large wholesale merchants, the tujjar; and the third issue deals with the gradual development in Basra of the "soft areas" in Asian economies through which European articulation, followed by incorporation into the capitalist world economy, took place.
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