"Of the many sources of power, these essays deal with only one: physical violence and the threat of violence exerted by some men over others. " Thus Frederic C. Lane introduces his essays on profits and protection rent, or the cost of protecting economic activities from the disruption of violence. With the theme of protection rent, Lane analyzes both particular cases, such as the development of trade in the West Indies and the prosperity of sixteenth-century Venice, and general questions, such as the role of capitalism in economic development and the economic relationships of the West to the rest of the world. In prose that is always graceful and clear, Lane presents his thoughts from many years of study that will be stimulating to sociologists and anthropologists, as well as to economic historians.
Frederic C. Lane is Professor of History, Emeritus, from the Johns Hopkins University and a former president of the American Historical Association and the International Economic History Association.