Cipolla could write delicately and precisely when recounting both tales drawn from his "smaller" enquiries (on money, epidemics, technology, commerce) and major economic and social developments stretching over centuries. One need only remember his studies of the plague, or his history of clocks and naval and military inventions, or the vertiginous tale of Spanish silver in the modern economy. Cipolla employed his story-telling skills even when writing for newspapers, in which he used to publish special short texts based on research or historical documents, or literary articles focusing on the history of currency and the economy. This book gathers the best of these "extra-vagant" narratives and offers the reader additional, surprising proof of this historian and writer's craft.
Carlo M. Cipolla (1922-2000) taught at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Pisa's Scuola Normale Superiore, as well as in the Universities of Venice, Turin and Pavia.
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