This book deals with a variety of loosely connected subjects under the rubric of trade among peoples of different cultures. It covers medieval and early modern Mediterranean Christian–Muslim trade, kinship and religion–based trade in France and Holland, the politics of state–church–merchant relations in Portugal, the production of African sculptures for European consumption, and Muslim pilgrimage in the Indian Ocean. The strengths of the book are its deeply documented historical-anthropological studies, but the individual articles do not lend themselves to broad generalizations about methodology nor about the global development of trade, economies, and empires. Nor does the book consider, except in one chapter about African sculptures, the impact of trade on the economies, societies, and cultures of the participants.

The book suggests that despite cultural barriers, trade was not difficult to arrange. British trade with the indigenous peoples of Newfoundland worked perfectly well without any common language or culture due to...

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