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Germany is considered a lauded land of music: outstanding composers, celebrated performers and famous orchestras exert great international appeal. Since the 19th century, the foundation of this reputation has been the broad mass of musicians who sat in orchestra pits, played in ensembles for dances or provided the musical background in silent movie theatres. Martin Rempe traces their lives and working worlds, including their struggle for economic improvement and societal recognition. His detailed portrait of the profession ‘from below’ sheds new light on German musical life in the modern era.
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Roman women bore children not just for their husbands, but for the Roman state. This book is the first comprehensive study of the importance of fecunditas (human fertility) in Roman society, c. 100 BC - AD 300. Its focus is the cultural impact of fecunditas, from gendered assumptions about infertility, to the social capital children brought to a marriage, to the emperors’ exploitation of fecunditas to build and preserve dynasties. Using a rich range of source material - literary, juristic, epigraphic, numismatic - never before collected, it explores how the Romans shaped fecunditas into an essential female virtue.
Black Material Culture and the Development of a Consumer Society in South Africa, 1800-2020
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Since the early nineteenth century, the things which Black South Africans have had in their homes have changed completely. They have adopted things like tables, chairs, knives, forks, spoons, plates, cups and saucers, iron pots, beds, blankets, European clothing, and later electronic apparatus. Thus they claimed modernity, respectability and political inclusion. This book is the first systematic analysis of this development. It argues that the desire to possess such goods formed a major part of the drive behind the anti-apartheid struggle, and that the demand to consume has significantly influenced both the economy and the politics of the country.
Unlocking the Golden Past of the Rudari Woodworkers
This is the first monograph on the history of the Rudari people of Romania and the first mapping of their settlements. The Rudari are a population which has traditionally inhabited the Balkan area and much of Central Europe. Many of them do not know the Romani language but speak Romanian dialects and today make a living out of carving wooden household items, although their Slavic name alludes to mining. Indeed, the Rudari were for centuries gold-prospectors and gold-washers working for the Crown of Wallachia and were administrated as slaves by a monastery situated on the auriferous Olt river. The authors have reconstructed the fascinating history of this ethnic group for a period of 500 years until the 19th century when gold-panning went in decline due to the exhaustion of the reserves of alluvial gold.
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No studies currently exist on consuls and consulates (often dismissed as lowly figures in the diplomatic process) in the Cold War. Research into the work of these overlooked 'poor relations' offers the chance of new perspectives in the field of Cold War studies, exploring their role in representing their country’s interests in far flung and unexpected places and their support for particular communities of fellow nationals and itinerant travellers in difficulties. These unnoticed actors on the international stage played far more complicated roles than one generally imagines.
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Contributors are: Tina Tamman, David Schriffl, Ariane Knuesel , Lori Maguire, Laurent Cesari, Sue Onslow, Pedro Aires Oliveira, David Lee, and Marek Hańderek.
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Ibn Ibrāhīm al-Dukkālī’s Historical Chronicle, edited and translated by Norman Cigar, is a valuable contemporary manuscript source from Morocco’s poorly documented and seldom-studied mid-eighteenth century, a period marked by weak rulers and conflicts, but also a golden age for local political actors and the autonomous power centers in the cities. As a well-placed observer and active participant in events in his native city of Fes, al-Dukkālī provides unique data that helps us address key questions about cities in the Muslim world raised in multiple disciplines, such as whether cities could be considered communities or were simply an agglomeration of disparate elements, and to what extent cities enjoyed autonomy in their relations with the central government, and in what sense they were “Islamic.”
In Agrarian History of the Cuban Revolution, the Brazilian historian Joana Salém Vasconcelos presents in clear language the complicated challenge of overcoming the condition of Latin America’s underdevelopment through a revolutionary process. Based on diverse historical sources, she demonstrates why the sugar plantation economic structure in Cuba was not entirely changed by the 1959 Revolution.

The author narrates in detail the three dimensions of Cuban agrarian transformation during the decisive 1960s — the land tenure system, the crop regime, and the labour regime —, and its social and political actors. She explains the paths and detours of Cuban agrarian policies, contextualized in a labour-intensive economy that needs desperately to increase productivity and, at the same time, promised widely to emancipate workers from labour exploitation. Cuban agrarian and economic contradictions are well-synthetized with the concept of Peripheral Socialism.