The conclusion highlights the common themes that join the lives of these men and women: their mobility, education, political engagement, professional achievements, social networks, and local loyalties. It documents how differently these men and women have been remembered, from the house museum of "the journalist" to the vanished grave of "the merchant." Most importantly, the conclusion answers the questions laid out in the introduction and pursued in the eight body chapters, emphasizing the innovative responses of some men and women to larger historical changes, the complex role played by ideologies in the countryside, and the shifting relationship between center and periphery. It closes with a brief reflection on what is gained by looking at history through a collective biography.
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