The Peasantry of Europe - Werner Rosener
A compressed yet reasonably thorough overview of the economic and social history of agriculture in Europe, from the early Middle Ages to the present. It's an enormous subject to cover in just 200 pages, but Rösener makes it possible thanks to a very clear writing style. He will mention issues that are controversial, briefly cite some historians who've offered views on the subject, state his own position, and then move on. There are almost no anecdotes or local historical details, and the individual people mentioned could be counted on one hand.

This could make for dry reading, but I personally didn't find it so; the clarity and organization of the generalized discussions was enough to keep my attention for the most part. Only the single chapter devoted to the 20th century felt seriously inadequate; enormous changes have taken place during that time, and there are major debates going on about the subject, which Rösener can do little more than mention. But the book as a whole could serve as a valuable jumping-off place for further reading and investigation. I certainly feel encouraged to read more about agricultural issues.