Until the 20th century it was taken for granted that, in terms of global economic progress, the only truly relevant history was Europe’s. Today economic growth involves the entire world, and so historians face new challenges. Why didn’t the Industrial Revolution occur in Asia or the Islamic world? Vera Zamagni’s book contributes to the debate and explains how the specific features of European civilization – not only its social and economic institutions, but also (and perhaps most importantly) its values – supported the expression of competition, the motor of progress. The author also describes the fundamental structure of European development and identifies the logical threads and the timeline leading up to global economic progress.
Vera Zamagni teaches Economic History at the University of Bologna.