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Since its publication in the 13th century, the Travels of Marco Polo has attracted a wide readership around the world. The transmission and translation of the original Rustichello-Marco text (either in French or Franco-Italian) resulted in 150 medieval manuscripts. Despite its popularity, not everyone believed Marco Polo’s account.
This is a monster of a book. It must be the most detailed assessment of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 that there has ever been. It subjects the scholarly literature devoted to the subject over the last century-and-a-half to a searching scrutiny.
Ten Years of Debate on the Origins of the Great Divergence between the Economies of Europe and China during the Era of Mercantilism and Industrialization
1. Smith, Marx and Weber
This impressively erudite, well researched, and eloquently written book by Joan Pau Rubiés analyses the development of Iberian and Italian travellers' accounts of south India over three hundred years.
Eric Hobsbawm has recently raised the question ‘Can wewrite the history of the Russian revolution?’. Coming from someone who has written a history of the twentieth century, of which the Russian revolution comprises a rather distant component, the question is somewhat unexpected.