"This is an important and stimulating book that challenges the ethnocentric notion that modernist thought and a capitalist economy could only be transferred to the peripheral states through direct contact with the European center. Peter Gran argues that the capitalist transformation of the Egyptian economy was begun by Muslim merchants and Mamluk rulers in the eighteenth century. . . . Gran's book, required reading for students of modern Middle Eastern history, is a pioneering study into the intellectual and economic history of Egypt."—American Historical Review
"To better explain the vitality of Middle Eastern society in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Gran had literally not only to make a survey for other evidences of creativity, but in the process also, nearly singlehandedly, create a whole new paradigm of explanation. . . . The work is outstanding in many ways: in the originality of conception and vision; in clarity and logic of presentation; and in its excellent synthesis and revision of major frameworks of understanding change and the nature of change."—The Muslim World
This paperback edition has an updated first chapter, resituating its main argument for today’s readers. New historical data on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Egypt makes an extremely persuasive argument for the eighteenth-century roots of Egyptian modernity. The similarity, too, of Egyptian history with other Mediterranean countries is much more clearly demonstrated today than when Islamic Roots of Capitalism first was published.
Peter Gran, professor of history at Temple University, is the author of Beyond Eurocentrism: A New View of Modern World History, also published by Syracuse University Press.
6 x 9, 340 pages