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The three-quarters of a century between 1715 and 1789 are often seen as the last years of Europe's old order. But a dramatic rise in Europe's population, the agricultural and industrial revolutions in Britain, and the unprecedented challenges of the Enlightenment began to shake the foundations of the old regime well before 1789.Drawing on the best contemporary scholarship, especially the innovations of French social history, Isser Woloch paints an unusually rich and detailed portrait of eighteenth-century European life and society. Among the new topics he covers are the family economy of the poor, popular culture and the circulation of books, changing patterns of crime and punishment, and the social history of military and religious institutions.