Professor Henri Stahl is one of Eastern Europe’s leading authorities on peasant societies. For over thirty years he has studied peasant village communities in Romania, both in the field and from wide-ranging documentary sources. This book, one of Professor Stahl’s major works, is based on this extensive research. The book is a study of the evolution of Romanian peasant society from the thirteenth century to the present, focusing particularly on the village communities of Wallachia and Moldavia, in which until quite recently communal villages still existed. Through a comparison of this type of village firstly with villages whose population was subjected to serfdom, and secondly with those which were free, but with private rather than communal property. Professor Stahl offers an interpretation of Romanian agrarian history. He argues that Romania moved from a communal form of social organization to a kind of tardy feudalism, provoked by the entry of capitalist market forces.