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Book and Media Reviews
September 19, 2007

Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age

JAMA. 2007;298(11):1334-1340. doi:10.1001/jama.298.11.1339

The huge industry of scholarship concerned with the birth of modern science in the 16th and 17th centuries has predominantly endeavored to reveal the processes underlying the production of new knowledge. Hal Cook's magnificent volume traces instead the complex web of accumulation and exchange of knowledge, materials, commodities, and values that revolutionized human perception and understanding of the natural world. Cook's creative angle of vision results from analyzing the scientific revolution within the history of global economic imperialism invented by the world's first tycoon society, the Dutch Republic during its golden age of 1581-1795.