There have been surprisingly few attempts to draw out the connections between the Enlightenment and the contemporaneous transformation of agriculture. In an important new book that seeks to remedy this situation, Jones suggests that, in the light of the currently dominant conception of the Enlightenment as a purely intellectual movement, his project might be regarded as “somewhat unusual, perhaps even perverse” (5). But as he rightly points out, the majority of Enlightenment figures did not see their work in that way. Equally important, from the perspective of this journal, the world of knowledge that they inhabited had not yet been divided into a series of arbitrarily defined disciplines. To take only the most obvious example, the political economy associated with Adam Smith is not “economics” as currently practiced (whether or not we consider it a “science”); it also contains elements of what would now be included in economic history, social...

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