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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 17th-century France. This lucid exploration of the characteristics shared by these societies is an essential introductory text for all students of history.
Patricia Crone is Mellon Professor of Islamic history at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA. She is the editor of Oneworld's Makers of the Muslim World series.