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Cotton
The Fabric that Made the Modern World

$34.99

  • Date Published: May 2013
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107000223

$34.99
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  • Today's world textile and garment trade is valued at a staggering $425 billion. We are told that under the pressure of increasing globalisation, it is India and China that are the new world manufacturing powerhouses. However, this is not a new phenomenon: until the industrial revolution, Asia manufactured great quantities of colourful printed cottons that were sold to places as far afield as Japan, West Africa and Europe. Cotton explores this earlier globalised economy and its transformation after 1750 as cotton led the way in the industrialisation of Europe. By the early nineteenth century, India, China and the Ottoman Empire switched from world producers to buyers of European cotton textiles, a position that they retained for over two hundred years. This is a fascinating and insightful story which ranges from Asian and European technologies and African slavery to cotton plantations in the Americas and consumer desires across the globe.

    • The first historical account of the role of cotton textiles in transforming the world economy over the past millennium
    • Shows how Europe's road to cultural development and economic growth was brought about by Asian technologies, African labour, and American raw materials and consumer markets
    • Richly illustrated including images of cloth, clothing and contemporary manufacturing processes
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    Prizes

    • Winner of the 2014 World History Association Bentley Book Prize

    Reviews & endorsements

    "… a remarkable volume full of insight and originality … Riello deserves a wide audience and the book will be of interest to a readership well beyond the audience for world economic history, including cultural and social history, the histories of art, design, fashion and, of course, textiles themselves."
    Ian Donnachie, Reviews in History (history.ac.uk/reviews)

    "Mr Riello's meticulous approach and scholarly prose make for a dense work but one that is wide-ranging, beautifully nuanced and often surprising. Like its namesake, Cotton deserves a wide circulation."
    Wall Street Journal

    "This is a brilliant study of two periods of globalization, centered and driven first by twelfth- to seventeenth-century Indian production of cotton textiles, and second by the gradual triumph of Europe, particularly Britain, beginning in the eighteenth century. Essential."
    B. Weinstein, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107000223
    • length: 434 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 182 x 25 mm
    • weight: 1.1kg
    • contains: 103 b/w illus. 46 colour illus. 10 maps 12 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: cotton textiles and global history
    Part I. The First Cotton Revolution – A Centrifugal System, c.1000–1500:
    2. Selling to the world: India and the old cotton system
    3. 'Wool growing on wild trees' – the global reach of cotton
    4. The world's best – cotton manufacturing and the advantage of India
    Part II. Learning and Connecting – Making Cottons Global, c.1500–1750:
    5. The Indian apprenticeship – Europeans trading in Indian cottons
    6. New consuming habits – how cotton entered European houses and wardrobes
    7. From Asia to America – cottons in the Atlantic world
    8. Learning and substituting – printing textiles in Europe
    Part III. The Second Cotton Revolution – A Centripetal System, c.1750–2000:
    9. Cotton, slavery and plantations in the New World
    10. Competing with India – cotton and European industrialisation
    11. 'The wolf in sheep's clothing' – the potential of cotton
    12. Global outcomes – the West and the new cotton system
    13. Conclusion – from system to system, from divergence to convergence.

  • Author

    Giorgio Riello, University of Warwick
    Giorgio Riello is Professor of Global History at the University of Warwick and a member of Warwick's Global History and Culture Centre. He is the author of A Foot in the Past (2006) and has co-edited several books including The Spinning World (2009), How India Clothed the World (2009) and Global Design History (2011). In 2009 he received the Newcomen Prize in Business History, and in 2010 he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize.

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