By Tom Scott
Europe lives in age of regionalism and regional identities which offer an alternative to the rigidities of organization by nation-state. Historically, such regions have been defined--if defined at all--in cultural, linguistic, ethnic, or political terms, with little emphasis on the economic factors of the period before industrialization. Tom Scott's intensive study of one region--the Upper Rhine between 1450 and 1600--redresses this imbalance. In this locality, divided between three countries and historically marginalized, Scott reveals the existence of a modern sense of regional identity working across national frontiers, and predicated on common economic interests.