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In preindustrial Europe, as in developing countries today, much of the population had to struggle to survive. The livelihood of all those who lived by the work of their hands was highly insecure. This book considers the laboring poor not simply as victims, but as actively pursuing a whole range of strategies for survival. Sometimes, strategies were successfully integrated within a household, while in other instances the domestic group was split and members preferred to pursue individual strategies. This illuminating book examines the European past using case studies from present-day situations in Asia and Africa.
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