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Historical Capitalism with Capitalist Civilization

by Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein

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1631147,117 (3.06)None
This revised edition provides a condensation of the central ideas of Immanuel Wallerstein's study of capitalism as an integrated, historical entity: the modern world system. In developing an anatomy of capitalism over the past five centuries, Wallerstein traces those elements that have constantly changed and evolved, while giving equal attention to features of historical capitalism that have necessarily remained constant. A new essay on Capitalist civilization furnishes a balance-sheet of the world-system in the age of neo-liberalism.… (more)
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This seems to be my year for reading books where authors are complaining that we are not making progress. For example, Hans-Hermann Hoppe argues that democracy was a mistake and monarchy was much better and Robert Gordon, in "the Rise and Fall of American Growth" argues that our rapid progress stopped growing so quickly after WWII. Now, Wallerstein argues that capitalism has not really brought progress to society.

The book forces the reader to look at capitalism with new eyes. Unfortunately, the author's turgid writing style means that those new eyes are often just drooping with weariness. The writing style is Marxist, which can be tolerated, but the real weakness is the lack of historical examples to justify Wallerstein's judgements of history. ( )
  M_Clark | Aug 1, 2016 |
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This revised edition provides a condensation of the central ideas of Immanuel Wallerstein's study of capitalism as an integrated, historical entity: the modern world system. In developing an anatomy of capitalism over the past five centuries, Wallerstein traces those elements that have constantly changed and evolved, while giving equal attention to features of historical capitalism that have necessarily remained constant. A new essay on Capitalist civilization furnishes a balance-sheet of the world-system in the age of neo-liberalism.

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