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Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path Hardcover – July 15, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (July 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226532534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226532530
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,234,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Every scholar of medieval studies will find something of interest here."
(Choice)

About the Author

Michael Mitterauer is professor emeritus of social history at the University of Vienna and the author of numerous books, including A History of Youth. Before his retirement Gerald Chapple was associate professor of German at McMaster University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A reader on July 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This book caught my attention while I was researching the development of capitalism and the era of various bourgeois revolutions. I had become unnerved by the laxness of attention to detail that seems to pervade histories of the Early Modern period. The problem of rooting the key period of Europe's social development in that era seemed to open up more questions than answers. Those questions only increased as I began reading medievalist histories of Europe, invention, science, and commerce sprang forth in the High Middle Ages with a verve that wouldn't be matched until the 17th century. European colonialism was well underway before Columbus ever crossed the Atlantic, as Western Europeans expanded into Eastern Europe, the Levant, the Mediterranean and Northern Africa (especially the islands off its coast). The two most capitalist societies in early modern Europe, England and the Netherlands, also developed clear capitalist social relations in land tenure (the former especially so) in the 14-5th centuries. So rich yeoman and aristocrats were already enclosing and starting to pursue profit-based agriculture in England BEFORE Christopher Columbus had released his cruelty on the American world. Revolutions shook the medieval world with the a force that would not be seen until the 17th-20th centuries. The 1381 rising in England was easily as radical (if not more so) than the initial French Revolution of 1789. And the rebels of the Jacquerie and Hussite rebellions could've taught most of Cromwell's parliamentarians what class struggle really looks like. The medieval revolution is unfortunately not a subject Mitterauer really explores.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scara Jerk on August 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm almost done reading this book and I'm glad that I bought it. Many other authors would have come up with a single theory for Europe's path through history. Mitterauer instead presents multiple interlocking theories, each of which contributes to Europe's particular path. He really understands the material and sees the connections between the different strands and his clear writing means that you will understand the connections as well.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ali Manavi Rad on October 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author does not seem to have spent that much effort to gather enough information about other areas and specially about Islamic countries, like Iran, and countries like India(and even, in a different period, Latin America) and their feudalistic power structure which in no way were conducive to emergence of representative government and parliamentary system. The problem with the geographic school's view of historical developments is that it is so fascinated by its own theories of historical cause and effect that it can hardly seem to pay any attention to the profound historical developments in areas like knowledge and its application and also art,in which Europe historical path is hugely different from those of China, Islamic and in a different epoch, Latin American countries.
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