This modest book examines the world of petty entrepreneurs in a late medieval Italian town. It is based on a rare collection of 46 account books from small tradesmen in the archives of Prato, a town better known for the extraordinarily rich archive of business and personal records left by the wealthy merchant Francesco Datini. The author was guided in his study by Richard Goldthwaite, a leading expert on late medieval account books. The ledgers provide a look at a little-studied social and economic group. They are especially revealing because they were used not only for business entries but also to record family events, including births, deaths, and marriages. As Marco Spallanzani points out in a preface to the book, most scholarship on medieval tradesmen centers on guilds and guild members. The people represented in these ledgers operated outside of economic corporations. They were not a homogeneous group but included a thirteenth-century moneylender, fourteenth-century druggists, cheese sellers, cloth sellers, a tailor, a doublet maker, a grain seller, a secondhand dealer, a broker, a cloth shearer, butchers, wallers, paper makers, and a family of innkeepers who were responsible for seventeen account books. As Marshall notes, the business atmosphere was casual, and this list is a bit deceptive because people's stated occupations were not always how they made their money. One man named as a second-hand dealer in fact used a broker to trade commodities, including 318 pounds of Sardinian cheese, bought one day and sold at a profit the next.