The concept of class, along with its correlates -m class interest, class conflict, class consciousness - ramain indispensable tools of historical explanation. Yet research over the last twenty-five years, especially on the histories of England, France, and Germany, has revealed an increasingly poor fit between these concepts and the reality they purport to explain. Some historians have reacted by rejecting class; others have proposed bold revisions in our understanding of it that enable it to encompass new research findings. This study does neither. Instead, building on interpretive method Professor Reddy proposes to replace class with an alternative concept that seeks to capture from a new angle the fundamental relations of exchange and authority that have shaped social life in modern Europe.
'Money and Liberty is an ambitious, wide-ranging book that is bound to provoke controversy and a rethinking of much of European historical writing on social class. It will be read with profit by scholars in a wide variety of fields.' Lynn Hunt, University of California, Berkeley