The consensus on Amazon may disagree, but…

The World that Trade Created beats the pants off A Splendid Exchange

Just in terms of being written more engagingly and delving into more of the social history of trade (which is what I care about) rather than an endless procession of dates when which group did what (which puts me to sleep). Most of the non-fiction reading I do is for the purpose of world-building, because truth is often stranger than fiction when it comes to the crazy ingenuity of humans:

“Kidnapping became so pervasive a business pursuit that, in the 1200s, a standard ransom rate prevailed throughout the Mediterranean.”

You can’t make this shit up. o_O

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