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The Spinning World
A Global History of Cotton Textiles, 1200-1850
Edited by Giorgio Riello and Prasannan Parthasarathi
2012, xvi + 490pp, Hb
ISBN: 978-93-80607-29-0
Price: 1,795

The Book
Eric Hobsbawm famously wrote, 'Whoever says Industrial Revolution says cotton.' The modern history of cotton textile is well known, and cotton's contribution to industrialization processes around the world much appreciated. However, the medieval and early modern antecedents of this produce are far less clear, and so the purpose of this collection of essays is to explore the pre-modern history of cotton. To explore the nature of this history, and the importance of the Indian subcontinent, whose cotton goods traversed the world and which lay at the centre of a vast worldwide trading system, requires a global perspective, which the essays in this volume provide. Ranging from China and Japan, to Europe, the Ottoman Empire, South-East Asia, and East and West Africa, the essays explore the global exchange and use of cotton textiles in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic worlds, as well as the impact of Indian cotton on local consumption and production systems. Taken together, they provide a wide-ranging picture of cotton cloth in the centuries between 1200 and 1850, as well as a framework which decenters Europe in the pre-modern global order.

The Editors
Giorgio Riello is Professor in Global History at the University of Warwick.
Prasannan Parthasarathi is Professor of History at Boston College.

William Gervase Clarence-Smith l Robert S. DuPlessis l Suraiya Faroqhi l Pat Hudson l Fujita Kayoko l Colleen E. Kriger l Beverly Lemire l Bozhong Li l Pedro Machado l Maureen Fennell Mazzaoui l Patrick O'Brien l Prasannan Parthasarathi l Om Prakash l Olivier Raveux l Giorgio Riello l John Styles l Masayuki Tanimoto l Marta V. Vicente l Ian Wendt l Harriet T. Zurndorfer

The Endorsements:

'A rich resource on the multiplicity of global experience in preindustrial cotton textile production and trade. As such it will surely open the way to fresh enquiry.'
DAVID JEREMY, Business History Review

'The Spinning World is based on a rich vein of scholarship... there are no weak links.'
JOHN SINGLETON, Business History

'A collection of essays of high factual value and close scrutiny of process, its revisionism lying in its world-ranging approach to a subject which has largely been viewed from a Western perspective.'
JANE JAKEMAN, Times Literary Supplement

'A significant addition to the growing number of multi-authored histories of globally traded commodities... This well-edited collection is also beautifully illustrated and designed, as befits its rich and fascinating content.'
R C NASH, Economic History Review