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Image, History, and Politics: The Coinage of Modern Europe examines money as a medium of communication laden with artistic and political meaning by studying the last two hundred years of European coinage. This book explores the political, economic, and aesthetic messages carried by coinage, therefore providing a special realm in which to view and constantly reevaluate major political and economic developments from the French Revolution through the Cold War, with occasional comparative references to earlier time periods. The study generally focuses on the pre-1914 "Great Powers" of Europe: France, Germany, Britain, Russia, the Hapsburg Monarchy, and Italy; along with a brief comparative examination of the coinage of Spain, Switzerland and Belgium. The author demonstrates how every political system, consciously or unconsciously, constructs a set of symbols as an expression of itself with its coinage, enabling historians and social scientists to synthesize political, economic, and artistic meaning in a historical context.