Perilous Passage: Mankind and the Global Ascendancy of Capital

Perilous Passage: Mankind and the Global Ascendancy of Capital

by Amiya Kumar Bagchi
     
 

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For the appendixes mentioned in the book, Click Here.

In this innovative and ambitious global history, distinguished economic historian Amiya Kumar Bagchi critically analyzes the processes leading to the rise of the West since the sixteenth century to its current position as the most prosperous and powerful group of nations in the world. Integrating the history

Overview

For the appendixes mentioned in the book, Click Here.

In this innovative and ambitious global history, distinguished economic historian Amiya Kumar Bagchi critically analyzes the processes leading to the rise of the West since the sixteenth century to its current position as the most prosperous and powerful group of nations in the world. Integrating the history of armed conflict with the history of competition for trade, investment, and markets, Bagchi explores the human consequences for people both within and outside the region. He characterizes the emergence and operation of capitalism as a system driven by wars over resources and markets rather than one that genuinely operates on the principle of free markets. In tracing this history, he also charts what happened to the people who came under its sway during the last five centuries.

Bagchi thus broadens our understanding of the nature and history of capitalism and challenges the fetishism of commodities that limits the perspective of most economic historians. The book also challenges the Eurocentrism that still underlies the conceptual framework of many mainstream historians, joining earlier narratives that chronicle the history of human beings as living persons rather than as puppets serving the abstract cause of "economic growth."

His unflinching examination of the human costs of development—not only in the colonial periphery but in the core nations—includes not only economic processes and issues of inequality within and among nations but also the intertwining of economics and war-making on a world scale. The book also contributes to our knowledge of how and in what sequence human health has been shaped by public health care, sanitation, modern medicine, income levels and nutrition. Written with extraordinary range and depth, Perilous Passage will change the ways in which we think about many of the largest issues in world history and development.

Editorial Reviews

Economic and Political Weekly
A good deal that we have seen before is still or again relevant to today's global capitalism, and Bagchi usefully reminds us of how many of these parallels are harrowing rather than hopeful; one hopes this book will reach the people who believe the stories Bagchi debunks and enrich a vital set of debates.
— Kenneth Pomeranz
Journal of Economic Literature
Explores the numerous ways the armed ascendancy of European capital has impacted the human development of the nonwhite dependencies of Europe and the Europeans themselves. Discusses human development and capitalist growth; capitalist competition and human development in Europe; the world beyond Europe in the age of the emergence of European dominance; and the antisystemic struggles, wars, and challenges to global capital.
Choice
This stimulating synthesis . . . has an excellent bibliography, incorporates recent specialist work in global economic history, and is genuinely erudite. A valuable reference for all world historians . . . Highly recommended.
The Statesman
A hard-headed examination in facts and figures of how capitalism has insidiously but inexorably destroyed human happiness and ravaged our ecological system. . . . A compelling and thoughtful account with the lucidity of argument of someone compressing the essence of a lifetime's research into a philosophical framework.
Development and Change
Bagchi has written a great book, a history of human development as he calls it, which offers a fascinating account of global capitalism as it evolved over a period of four centuries. . . . Writing a 'grand history' as Bagchi has done will inevitably create controversy . . . but this does not in any way diminish the significance of this monumental history of the human costs of economic growth.
Science and Society
An impressive book that, in the tradition of world systems analysis and dependency theory, challenges Eurocentric understandings of capitalism. . . . This book makes an important contribution to that struggle.
International Review of Social History
[Bagchi] challenges Eurocentric views on the rise of capitalism and argues that Europeans gained a decisive advantage over China and India thanks only to the maturing of the machine-based Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century.
Economic and Political Weekly - Kenneth Pomeranz
A good deal that we have seen before is still or again relevant to today's global capitalism, and Bagchi usefully reminds us of how many of these parallels are harrowing rather than hopeful; one hopes this book will reach the people who believe the stories Bagchi debunks and enrich a vital set of debates.
Amartya Sen
A combative and spirited book telling the story of the economic emergence of the contemporary world in a radically different way from the standard accounts. It will not end debates, but begin them in a robust way, which surely is the function of fine 'alternative history.'
Journal Of Economic Literature
Explores the numerous ways the armed ascendancy of European capital has impacted the human development of the nonwhite dependencies of Europe and the Europeans themselves. Discusses human development and capitalist growth; capitalist competition and human development in Europe; the world beyond Europe in the age of the emergence of European dominance; and the antisystemic struggles, wars, and challenges to global capital.
CHOICE
This stimulating synthesis . . . has an excellent bibliography, incorporates recent specialist work in global economic history, and is genuinely erudite. A valuable reference for all world historians . . . Highly recommended.
Monthly Review - Immanuel Wallerstein
Magisterial. . . . [Bagchi] presents a comprehensive comparative picture of the historical economic development of China, India, and Japan, and their relation to what happened in Europe and North America. It is hard to suggest another work that does this in as small a space, so clearly, and based on such extensive acquaintance with the empirical literature. . . . It is refreshing to have Bagchi’s voice added to the rather small list of important works on the origins and development of the modern world. . . . One can only hope that the book will have a wide international reading public.
December 2007 Journal of World History
An ambitious work that essays to rethink the extent to which the transition to capitalism did not accomplish significant human development until well into the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. . . . Bagchi's 'human development' frame is one that stimulates and appropriately outrages.
International Review Of Social History
[Bagchi] challenges Eurocentric views on the rise of capitalism and argues that Europeans gained a decisive advantage over China and India thanks only to the maturing of the machine-based Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century.
December 2008 Labour
Amiya Kumar Bagchi's Perilous Passage is a book that deserves our attention in this historical moment. It is born of our moment and offers us crucial intellectual resources in our attempts to understand the beast we must confront. Perilous Passage is a global history and in many respects perhaps one of the first truly global histories of our epoch to appear....Bagchi's Perilous Passage is a weapon in the intellectual arsenal of social justice activists everywhere....Perilous Passage may contribute to the development of a newer kind of understanding that will allow us to begin undoing the layers of injustice, ecological destruction, and human immiseration such ascendancy has created.
Economic and Political Weekly - Kenneth L. Pomeranz
A good deal that we have seen before is still or again relevant to today's global capitalism, and Bagchi usefully reminds us of how many of these parallels are harrowing rather than hopeful; one hopes this book will reach the people who believe the stories Bagchi debunks and enrich a vital set of debates.
Journal of World History
An ambitious work that essays to rethink the extent to which the transition to capitalism did not accomplish significant human development until well into the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. . . . Bagchi's 'human development' frame is one that stimulates and appropriately outrages.
Labour
Amiya Kumar Bagchi's Perilous Passage is a book that deserves our attention in this historical moment. It is born of our moment and offers us crucial intellectual resources in our attempts to understand the beast we must confront. Perilous Passage is a global history and in many respects perhaps one of the first truly global histories of our epoch to appear. . . . Bagchi's Perilous Passage is a weapon in the intellectual arsenal of social justice activists everywhere. . . . Perilous Passage may contribute to the development of a newer kind of understanding that will allow us to begin undoing the layers of injustice, ecological destruction, and human immiseration such ascendancy has created.
Science & Society
An impressive book that, in the tradition of world systems analysis and dependency theory, challenges Eurocentric understandings of capitalism. . . . This book makes an important contribution to that struggle.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781461705154
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/1900
Series:
World Social Change
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
422
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Amiya Kumar Bagchi is the founder and director of the Institute of Development Studies in Calcutta, India.

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