Contraband Louis Mandrin and the Making of a Global Underground

ISBN-10: 0674726839

ISBN-13: 9780674726833

Edition: 2014

Authors: Michael Kwass

List price: $54.00
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Description:

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 exposes the dark side of this early phase of globalization, revealing hidden connections between illicit commerce, criminality, and popular revolt.France's economic system was tailor-made for an enterprising outlaw like Mandrin. As French subjects began to crave colonial products, Louis XIV lined the royal coffers by imposing a state monopoly on tobacco from America and an embargo on brilliantly colored calico cloth from India. Vigorous black markets arose through which traffickers fed these exotic goods to eager French consumers. Flouting the law with unparalleled panache, Mandrin captured widespread public attention to become a symbol of a defiant underground.This furtive economy generated violent clashes between smuggling gangs and customs agents in the borderlands. Eventually, Mandrin was captured by French troops and put to death in a brutal public execution intended to demonstrate the king's absolute authority. But the spectacle only cemented Mandrin's status as a rebel folk hero in an age of mounting discontent. Amid cycles of underground rebellion and agonizing penal repression, the memory of Mandrin inspired ordinary subjects and Enlightened philosophers alike to challenge royal power and forge a movement for radical political change.
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Book details

List price: $54.00
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 4/7/2014
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 472
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.30" tall
Weight: 1.892

Michael Kwass is Associate Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University.

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