THE RISE OF THE ENTREPRENEUR. By J. W. Gough. Batsford, 1969. Pp. 325. £ 2.50. The period in view is the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, particularly 1540-1640 which is referred to as 'Tawney's century', though Mr. Gough appears to have been more influenced by J. U. Nef than by Tawney. After a short account of the textile industry the author moves into topics with which he has an enviable familiarity. There are chapters on coal, iron and steel, copper and brass, tin and lead, gold and silver, alum, salt and saltpetre and glass. Pins and paper qualify as 'miscellaneous'. Thus, six out of the nine chapters dealing with particular industries are about mining and metallurgy, as one would expect and hope for from the author of The Mines of Mendip. Anyone who wants a brief introduction to these subjects will find Mr. Gough's book useful and often entertaining. One's reservations about The Rise of the Entrepreneur come from the title, from the author's general reflections upon entrepreneurship, and from his attempt to fit some kind of sociological casing around the subject. Mr. Gough was perfectly entitled to call his book 'Industrial Entrepre- neurs' or some such title, but he misleads by his insistence that only industrialists qualify to be called entrepreneurs. Thus, Arthur Ingram and Customer Smythe are deemed to be entrepreneurs because of their interest in alum; Cranfield is not. Out go all mere merchants; out go financiers and contractors like Burlamachi; out go bankers and scriveners like Vyner and Banks; out go company-projectors like Patterson unless the companies they promoted were of a manufacturing kind or for drainage or water supply. The term 'entrepreneur' is a vague as well as an ugly one: no useful purpose is served by defining it in so precise and restricted a way. In what sense did entrepreneurs in industry 'rise' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? They certainly appeared in larger numbers than before, large enough to attract disapproving comment in Jacobean plays and elsewhere: men on the make who two centuries earlier would have gone into the Church. Technical inventions, rising demand, the enlarged requirements of governments and perhaps the price-rise gave them their chance in industry. But, putting aside nobles and gentry with industrial interests (few of whom 'rose' by these means though some may have avoided falling), Mr. Gough's entrepreneurs have no greater claim to be regarded as a class than spivs. They were certainly not recognized at the time as an 'interest' in the way that merchants were. Not many of them, beginning poor, ended rich and bought their way into land-which is what 'rising' usually means and probably what it ought to mean. Not many got into Parliament before the Industrial Revolution. Not many founded great charities. Not many married their daughters into the peerage. Unfortunately, Mr. Gough did not tackle this end of the problem: the 'risen' entrepreneur. Had he done so, he might have decided that his honest, straightforward account of some aspects of industrial history gains little and loses something by its sociological packaging. K. G. DAVIES Bristol