From Domestic Manufacture to Industrial Revolution: The Case of the Rhineland Textile Districts

From Domestic Manufacture to Industrial Revolution: The Case of the Rhineland Textile Districts

From Domestic Manufacture to Industrial Revolution: The Case of the Rhineland Textile Districts

From Domestic Manufacture to Industrial Revolution: The Case of the Rhineland Textile Districts

Synopsis

This book is an economic, historical, and sociological examination of rural textile industries in the Lower Rhineland beginning in the sixteenth century, culminating with the age of factory organization in the early 1800s. Drawing on archival sources not available to English language readers, the late Kisch analyzes the evolution of entrepreneurial innovations, the growth of a skilled labor force and changes in institutional mechanisms and patterns of social behavior that prepared this critical economic region for the innovation of factory production that came with the industrial revolution.

Excerpt

Herbert Kisch was born on June 12, 1924, in Prague and died on March 9, 1978, in East Lansing, Michigan--too early to complete his lifework. The manuscript representing his principal work was finished before he died and is published here for the first time in English. It was initially translated into German and published in 1981 as a volume in the series of the Göttingen Max-Planck- Institut für Geschichte--Die hausindustriellen Textilgewerbe am Niederrhein vor der industriellen Revolution. Von der ursprünglichen zur kapitalistischen Akkumulation. Veröffentlichungen des Max-Planck-Instituts für Geschichte, Band 65 (Göttingen, Vanderhoeck und Ruprecht, 1981). During the last years of his life Herbert Kisch had formed close and friendly ties of cooperation and discussion with Peter Kriedte, Hans Medick, and Jürgen Schlumbohm, all three research associates from the Max-Planck-Institut. It is with great pleasure that they have joined with Richard Tilly, Kisch's long-standing friend and colleague, and with his widow, Clara Kisch, to greet the publication of the English edition by Oxford University Press.

Herbert Kisch's work deserves much wider recognition than it has thus far received. Indeed, it may be said that in taking up the subject of this book-- cottage industries in the transition to industrial capitalism--and in writing this book in an exemplary synthesis of analytic and narrative styles, Kisch anticipated both a subject matter and a mode of investigating and representing economic and social history that has become increasingly important since his untimely death. In embracing the best traditions of both European and American historiography, Kisch attempted to return to economic history its quality and distinction as part of the humanities. This is surely an endeavor which deserves the attention not only of present and future generations of economic historians but also of a much wider public.

East Lansing, Mich. C. K.

Göttingen P.K., H.M., J.S.

Münster R.T.

August 1988 . . .

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