Precarious Existence and Trust in the Spanish Kingdom of Murcia, 1550–1580 narrates an often disturbing, cautionary tale for our time. By applying research results from the broad interdisciplinary field of cooperation studies, the book recounts how, in recognition of their precarious existence, wealthy men and women in southeastern Spain shaped a new, enduring form of cooperation among themselves and with others in the face of unpredicted and unpredictable events, including natural disaster, violent factional conflict, racist persecution, threats to existing commercial relationships, and a Christian-Muslim religious war. As a result, the book offers an innovative understanding of a major problem in European and world history: the survival for over three centuries of the global Hispanic Monarchy in the face of constant threats to its integrity. In southeastern Spain, as in other regions, a new type of cooperation emerged, which led to a considerable degree of local autonomy while preserving loyalty to the reigning dynasty.
J. B. Owens, Idaho State University, Pocatello, USA.