In World-Systems Analysis, Immanuel Wallerstein provides a concise and accessible introduction to the comprehensive approach that he pioneered 30 years ago to understanding the history and development of the modern world. Since Wallerstein first developed world-systems analysis, it has become a widely utilized methodology within the historical social sciences and a common point of reference in discussions of globalization. Now, for the first time in one volume, Wallerstein offers a succinct summary of world-systems analysis and a clear outline of the modern world-system, describing the structures of knowledge upon which it is based, its mechanisms, and its future.
Wallerstein explains the defining characteristics of world-systems analysis: its emphasis on world-systems rather than nation-states, on the need to consider historical processes as they unfold over long periods of time, and on combining within a single analytical framework bodies of knowledge usually viewed as distinct from one another-such as history, political science, economics, and sociology. He describes the world-system as a social reality comprised of interconnected nations, firms, households, classes, and identity groups of all kinds. He identifies and highlights the significance of the key moments in the evolution of the modern world-system: the development of a capitalist world-economy in the sixteenth-century, the beginning of two centuries of liberal centrism in the French Revolution of 1789, and the undermining of that centrism in the global revolts of 1968. Intended for general readers, students, and experienced practitioners alike, this book presents a complete overview of world-systems analysis by its original architect.
The book is published by Duke University Press.
©2004 Duke University Press (P)2013 Redwood Audiobooks
"This is a concise and elegantly written introduction by a major historian and social theorist." (CHOICE)
"Immanuel Wallerstein's world-systems analysis represents one of the most impressive and influential achievements in the recent history of the social sciences." (Australian Journal of Politics and History)
"Wallerstein produces both more compelling and clearly written explanations for his theory than at any time past." (International Social Science Review)
While I cannot deny that this book is important and that it would be difficult to give it pizzazz in an audio performance he could have at least tried. I literally used this to put me to sleep and will read the text edition to actually get the information out of it.
Irrational, but True
This is a lot of book for its length. Wallerstein lays out a broad but very concise narrative that takes the reader through the history of the world, and the historiography of the world, and lays out a clear case for how a different paradigm is needed for viewing and thinking about history and historical phenomena. The role of history and sociology among the other disciplines and the epidemiological issues involved in evaluating macro-scale events over long periods of time are evaluated with some depth for the run time of the audiobook.
Yet, there are quite a few portions of the book that nevertheless came across as dry and tedious lecture rather than an engaging treatise on a fascinating subject. And I love this subject matter and really wanted to love the book! Still worth a read, but I wish the book could have retained its scholarly emphasis without feeling so academic.
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