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Publisher's Summary

Eric Mielants provides a fresh, interdisciplinary interpretation of the origins of modernity in general and of capitalism in particular. He argues that, contrary to established thinking, the "Rise of the West" should not be examined through the lens of the Industrial Revolution or of the colonization of the New World but viewed through long-term developments that began in the Middle Ages. A fascinating overview of civilizations in East Asia, South Asia, and northwestern Africa is provided and then systematically compared to developments in Europe at the same time. Utilizing this analysis, the book addresses some of the most important current debates in world history, comparative sociology, political economy, sociological theory, and historical sociology. Mielants uncovers the ways that existing theories (such as Marxism, World-Systems Theory, and Smithian Modernization Theory) have suffered from either Eurocentric or limited temporal and spatial analyses, preventing them from fully explaining the reasons behind the emergence of capitalism in Western Europe.

©2007 Temple University (P)2015 Redwood Audiobooks

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  • Philo
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 06-10-15

A bit dry and academic; debunks common myths

If your taste runs to a dry and academic style (which fits fine here), and the topic seems interesting, you will find yourself rewarded. This did broaden and deepen and flesh out my impressions and views of the times and people covered, in Europe and Asia. The approach is a more modern one which openly addresses itself to various other historical schools, and employs an updated view of the development and big picture regional and global economies.

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Can’t say i learned a thing from this book

Capitalism is a thoughtful philosophy. The men and ideas that originated this philosophy were not mentioned nor were historical forces and events that freed men to conduct voluntary economic exchanges.Instead you find 100’s of actives all over the world at many times that are very vague and not organized in any systematic way that i could discern leaving me with nothing to take away.Maybe in some extreme academic circles somewhere there would be something relevant in this book.