The Modern World-System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century


Immanuel Wallerstein - 1975
    Countless authors have sung its praises. Aside from splendid surroundings, unlimited library and secretarial assistance, and a ready supply of varied scholars to consult at a moment's notice, what the center offers is to leave the scholar to his own devices, for good or ill. Would that all men had such wisdom. The final version was consummated with the aid of a grant from the Social Sciences Grants Subcommittee of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research of McGill University.

The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival


John Bagot Glubb - 1978
    

A Study of History, Abridgement of Vols 1-6


Arnold Joseph Toynbee - 1947
    A ten-volume analysis of the rise and fall of human civilizations, it is a work of breath-taking breadth and vision. D.C. Somervell's abridgement, in two volumes, of this magnificent enterprise, preserves the method, atmosphere, texture, and, in many instances, the very words of the original. Originally published in 1947 and 1957, these two volumes are themselves a great historical achievement.Volume 1, which abridges the first six volumes of Toynbee's study, includes the Introduction, The Geneses of Civilizations, and The Disintegrations of Civilizations. Volume 2, an abridgement of Volumes VII-X, includes sections on Universal States, Universal churches, Heroic Ages, Contacts Between Civilizations in Space, Contacts Between Civilizations in Time, Law and Freedom in History, The Prospects of the Western Civilization, and the Conclusion.Of Somervell's work, Toynbee wrote, "The reader now has at his command a uniform abridgement of the whole book, made by a clear mind that has not only mastered the contents but has entered into the writer's outlook and purpose."

The European Dream: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream


Jeremy Rifkin - 2004
    But today, at the dawn of the new Millennium, Europe is pointing a new way to the future. In this major new book, best-selling author Jeremy Rifkin argues that Europe has a vision of its own and is overtaking America as the world's next superpower. The American Dream was based on economic growth, personal wealth and independence. It was synonymous with love of country and patriotism, frontier mentality and the unbridled exercise of power. Yet what were once considered prime virtues - cherished and idealised not only in America but throughout the world - are increasingly seen by many as drawbacks and even impediments. But while the American Dream tires and languishes in the past, a new European Dream is being born. Today we see a new set of values emerging which are focused on sustainable development, quality of life and multilateralism. More cosmopolitan and less concerned with the brute exercise of power, the European Dream is better positioned to accommodate the many forces that are propelling us into a more interconnected and interdependent world. Where does Britain fit into this story? The British find themselves betwixt and between a fading American Dream and a newly emerging European Dream which is gaining the upper hand in our contemporary global age. Rifkin argues that Britain is uniquely positioned to play a bridge role between Europe and America and has the potential to help create a synergy between the two superpowers of the 21st century. But in order to exercise any real influence in world affairs, Britain must choose to be part of a larger political entity. In a globally connected world, no people can exist any longer as an island unto themselves. The only question for Britain is whether it will make its home with America or with Europe.

The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia


James C. Scott - 1976
    Scott places the critical problem of the peasant household—subsistence—at the center of this study. The fear of food shortages, he argues persuasively, explains many otherwise puzzling technical, social, and moral arrangements in peasant society, such as resistance to innovation, the desire to own land even at some cost in terms of income, relationships with other people, and relationships with institutions, including the state.Once the centrality of the subsistence problem is recognized, its effects on notions of economic and political justice can also be seen. Scott draws from the history of agrarian society in lower Burma and Vietnam to show how the transformations of the colonial era systematically violated the peasants’ “moral economy” and created a situation of potential rebellion and revolution.Demonstrating keen insights into the behavior of people in other cultures and a rare ability to generalize soundly from case studies, Scott offers a different perspective on peasant behavior that will be of interest particularly to political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, and Southeast Asianists.“The book is extraordinarily original and valuable and will have a very broad appeal. I think the central thesis is correct and compelling.”—Clifford Geertz “In this major work, … Scott views peasants as political and moral actors defending their values as well as their individual security, making his book vital to an understanding of peasant politics.”—Library Journal

Machiavelli: The Art of Teaching People What to Fear


Patrick Boucheron - 2020
     Whenever a tempestuous period in history begins, Machiavelli is summoned, because he is known as one for philosophizing in dark times. In fact, since his death in 1527, we have never ceased to read him to pull ourselves out of torpors. But what do we really know about this man apart from the term invented by his detractors to refer to that political evil, Machiavellianism?It was Machiavelli's luck to be disappointed by every statesman he encountered throughout his life—that was why he had to write The Prince. If the book endeavors to dissociate political action from common morality, the question still remains today, not why, but for whom Machiavelli wrote. For princes, or for those who want to resist them? Is the art of governing to take power or to keep it? And what is “the people?” Can they govern themselves? Beyond cynical advice for the powerful, Machiavelli meditates profoundly on the idea of popular sovereignty, because the people know best who oppresses them.With verve and a delightful erudition, Patrick Boucheron sheds light on the life and works of this unclassifiable visionary, illustrating how we can continue to use him as a guide in times of crisis.

On Power: The Natural History of Its Growth


Bertrand De Jouvenel - 1945
    This development Jouvenel traces all the way back to the days of royal absolutism, which established large administrative bureaucracies and thus laid the foundation of the modern omnipotent state.On Power is an important work that Professor Angelo M. Petroni of the Luigi Einaudi Center for Research in Torino, Italy, has said is "simply a book that no serious scholar of political science or political philosophy can afford to ignore."Bertrand de Jouvenel was born in Paris in 1903; he traveled widely, becoming an astute observer of British and American institutions. Later in life, he was an author and teacher, first publishing On Power in 1945. Jouvenel died in 1987. Among his other books, besides The Ethics of Redistribution, are Sovereignty: An Inquiry into the Political Good (1957) and The Pure Theory of Politics (1963).

The World: A Beginner's Guide


Göran Therborn - 2011
    It is a beginner's guide to the world after the West and after globalization, compact, portable, and jargon-free. It is aimed at everybody who, even with experience, has kept a beginner's curiosity of the world, to everybody who does not know everything they want to know about it, about the good, the evil, and the salvation of the world.It lays bare the socio-cultural geology of the world, its major civilizations, its historical waves of globalization, its family-sex-gender systems, and its pathways to modernity. It outlines the dynamics of the world, its basic drives, the contours of its most important global and sub-global processes. It presents the big team players on the world stage, populous as well as rich countries, missions and movements as well corporations and cities. It traces the life-courses of men and women on all the continents, from their birth and childhood to their old age, and their funeral.

Masters of the Word: How Media Shaped History from the Alphabet to the Internet


William J. Bernstein - 2013
    Bernstein’s A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World, an Economist and Financial Times Best Book of the Year, placed him firmly among the top flight of historians like Jared Diamond and Bill Bryson, capable of distilling major trends and reams of information into insightful, globe-spanning popular narrative. Bernstein explains how new communication technologies and in particular our access to them, impacted human society. Writing was born thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia. Spreading to Sumer, and then Egypt, this revolutionary tool allowed rulers to extend their control far and wide, giving rise to the world’s first empires. When Phoenician traders took their alphabet to Greece, literacy’s first boom led to the birth of drama and democracy. In Rome, it helped spell the downfall of the Republic. Later, medieval scriptoria and vernacular bibles gave rise to religious dissent, and with the combination of cheaper paper and Gutenberg’s printing press, the fuse of Reformation was lit. The Industrial Revolution brought the telegraph and the steam driven printing press, allowing information to move faster than ever before and to reach an even larger audience. But along with radio and television, these new technologies were more easily exploited by the powerful, as seen in Germany, the Soviet Union, even Rwanda, where radio incited genocide. With the rise of carbon duplicates (Russian samizdat), photocopying (the Pentagon Papers), the internet, social media and cell phones (the recent Arab Spring) more people have access to communications, making the world more connected than ever before. In Masters of the Word, Bernstein masterfully guides the reader through the vast history of communications, illustrating each step with colorful stories and anecdotes. This is a captivating, enlightening book, one that will change the way you look at technology, history, and power.

Marxism Unmasked: From Delusion to Destruction (Mises Seminar Lectures, Vol. 2)


Ludwig von Mises - 2006
    We can't go back in time and attend his New York seminar, or follow him to his speaking engagements that he held in the 50s and 60s. But thanks to this second volume in a thrilling series (here is volume one), we do have access to what he said. He is warm, funny, passionate, and learned. This book provides a candid look at the man and his teaching style. It demonstrates his dazzling command over the material, and teaches in a breezier way than his treatises. This volume contains nine lectures delivered over one week, from June 23, to July 3, 1952, at the San Francisco Public Library. Mises was at his prime as a teacher and lecturer. He shares a lifetime of learning on topics that were (and remain) central to American public life. As the title indicates, his main focus is on Marxism. He discusses Marx and his place in the history of ideas, the destruction wrought by his dangerous ideology, the manner in which his followers have covered up his errors, and how the Marxists themselves have worked for so long to save Marxism from itself. He discusses Marxist claims about history and refutes the smear of the industrial revolution.

Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism


Perry Anderson - 1974
    Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism, the companion volume to Perry Anderson’s highly acclaimed and influential Lineages of the Absolutist State, is a sustained exercise in historical sociology to root the development of absolutism in the diverse routes taken from the slave-based societies of Ancient Greece and Rome to fully-fledged feudalism. In the course of this study Anderson vindicates and refines the explanatory power of a Marxist conception of history, whilst casting a fascinating light on Greece, Rome, the Germanic invasion, nomadic society, and the different patterns of the evolution of feudalism in Northern, Mediterranean, Eastern and Western Europe.

The Theory of Social and Economic Organization


Max Weber - 1947
    In this work originally published in German in 1920, Weber discusses the analytical methods of sociology and, at the same time, presents a devastating critique of prevailing sociological theory and of its universalist, determinist underpinnings. None of Weber's other writings offers the reader such a grasp of his theories; none displays so clearly his erudition, the scope of his interests, and his analytical powers.

The Sources of Social Power: Volume 1, a History of Power from the Beginning to Ad 1760


Michael Mann - 1986
    In it, Michael Mann identifies the four principal 'sources' of power as being control over economic, ideological, military, and political resources. He examines the interrelations between these in a narrative history of power from Neolithic times, through ancient Near Eastern civilisations, the classical Mediterranean age, and medieval Europe, up to just before the Industrial Revolution in England. Rejecting the conventional monolithic concept of a 'society', Dr. Mann's model is instead one of a series of overlapping, intersecting power networks. He makes this model operational by focusing on the logistics of power - how the flow of information, manpower, and goods is controlled over social and geographical space-thereby clarifying many of the 'great debates' in sociological theory. The present volume offers explanations of the emergence of the state and social stratification.

A Marxist History of the World: From Neanderthals to Neoliberals


Neil Faulkner - 2013
    Written from the perspective of ordinary men and women.

The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom


James Burnham - 1943
    The book devotes a long section to Machiavelli himself as well as to such modern Machiavellians as Gaetano Mosca, Georges Sorel, Robert Michels and Vilfredo Pareto. Burnham contends that the writings of these men hold the key both to the truth about politics and to the preservation of political liberty.