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Maria Malatesta’s sweeping examination of the major free professions in Europe from the end of the Ancient Regime to the beginning of the current millennium represents one of the crowning achievements of the “New Social History.” Her book is truly imposing in its scope and in its command of the vast social science and historical scholarship on the subject. She traces the evolution of the legal, medical, engineering, and accounting professions over two centuries from gentlemanly vocations to their contemporary market-driven forms in Germany, France, Italy, and Great Britain.
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