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Contraband: Louis Mandrin and the Making of a Global Underground
Louis Mandrin led a gang of bandits who brazenly smuggled contraband into eighteenth-century France. Michael Kwass brings new life to the legend of this Gallic Robin Hood and the thriving underworld he helped to create. Decades before the storming of the Bastille, surging world trade excited a revolution in consumption that transformed the French kingdom. Contraband expose ...more
Hardcover, 457 pages
Published April 7th 2014 by Harvard University Press
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A first-rate look at the local impact in France of global supply chains for tobacco and calico in the 18th century. Tobacco was claimed as a state monopoly and calico imports were banned in order to product domestic cloth producers, but in both cases the efforts to control the market led to the formation of black markets, especially along the porous borders of the softening sovereignties to the East of France. The book revolves around the widely mythologized life, times, and horrifying death of ...more