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East meets west in the global eighteenth century

Adam Smith, one of the eighteenth century’s most perceptive minds, claimed in The Wealth of nations that the ‘discovery of America, and that of a passage to the East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope, are the two greatest and most important events in the history of mankind’. His observation illuminates one of the key issues affecting major European powers in the late eighteenth century: where to expand on the world stage?

Bibliography prize, and a newly-discovered early edition of Voltaire’s works

With so many good reasons for visiting Amsterdam, the idea of going there to read 70 or so bibliographies in two days might not seem the most compelling. None the less, I and five other people interested in book history did exactly that in October, as guests of the Breslauer Foundation of New York, which awards a prize  for the best bibliography published in the previous four years in any language. Publishers are invited to submit entries for consideration, and the winner will receive the prize of $10,000 at a gala dinner in Paris next year.

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