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Capitalism has been a controversial concept. In the second half of the 20th century, many historians have either not used the concept at all, or only in passing. Many regarded the term as too broad, holistic and vague or too value-loaded, ideological and polemic. This volume brings together leading scholars to explore why the term has recently experienced a comeback and assess how useful the term can be in application to social and economic history.
The contributors discuss whether and how the history of capitalism enables us to ask new questions, further explore unexhausted sources and discover new connections between previously unrelated phenomena. The chapters address case studies drawn from around the world, giving attention to Europe, Asia, Africa and beyond.
This is a timely reassessment of a crucial concept, which will be of great interest to scholars and students of economic history.