Eminent historian Patricia Crone defines the common features of a wide range of pre-industrial societies, from locations as seemingly disparate as the Mongol Empire and pre-Columbian America, to cultures as diverse as the Ming Dynasty and seventeenth-century France. In a lucid exploration of the characteristics shared by these societies, the author examines such key elements as economic organization, politics, culture, and the role of religion. An essential introductory text for all students of history, Pre-Industrial Societies provides readers with all the necessary tools for gaining a substantial understanding of life in pre-modern times. In addition, as a perceptive insight into a lost world, italso acts as a starting point for anyone interested in the present possibilities and future challenges faced by our own global society.
Patricia Crone is Mellon Professor of Islamic History at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA.