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In this masterful monograph, Alice Rio revisits one of the central questions in the historiography of early medieval Western Europe: how did the transition from slavery to serfdom take place?
Desan’s fascinating book approaches the only seemingly obvious act of ‘making money’ by examining what it actually means to ‘make money’. While Desan does acknowledge the physical act involved in this process, such as the striking of coins and the printing of bills, her primary focus is to study what gave money value and validated it as a reliable medium of egalitarian exchange.
At its most basic level, a market is a locus of exchange, which enables people who need or desire certain things that they themselves do not produce to acquire these goods from others.