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“Edo and Paris” compares the development of these two great cities of the early modern era. It compiles 19 essays by American, European and Japanese academics, edited by James L. McClain, John M. Merriman and Kaoru Ugawa, professors of history at Brown, Yale and Rikkyo universities, respectively.

McClain and Merriman explain that “burgeoning urban growth and the expansion of state power” exemplified Edo (now Tokyo) and Paris. The striking parallels between the two are detailed in essays describing efforts to manage commerce, fire prevention, urban development and more. In response to these challenges, both governments created increasingly complex bureaucracies.

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