Corey Tazzara, assistant professor of history at Scripps College, announced his new book, , has been published by Oxford University Press. In the twilight of the Renaissance, the fabled Medici dynasty—newly ensconced as the hereditary rulers of Florence—created a port city in the malarial backwater of Livorno. Tazzara’s book is the first study of the economic development and political influence of Livorno during the long seventeenth century, from about 1574 to 1790. The book examines how modern free trade was born from the early modern tradition of free ports, and traces the wider impact of the Italian economy even after its heyday during the Renaissance.
“The history of Livorno tells the story of its power in transforming the Mediterranean world, when Italy was at the center of Old World commerce,” Tazzara said. “Moreover, today’s special economic zones are, in fact, descendants of free ports, and Livorno’s lineage is an important precursor to these modern economic models,” Tazzara said. The book will appeal primarily to academic audiences, . “The Free Port of Livorno revises our understanding of early modern commodity markets and the sociology of commerce, and incorporates the sociology of knowledge into the development of political economy.”