The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times

Overview

Winner of the American Sociological Association PEWS Award (1995) for Distinguished Scholarship

The Long Twentieth Century traces the epochal shifts in the relationship between capital accumulation and state formation over a 700-year period. Giovanni Arrighi masterfully synthesizes social theory, comparative history and historical narrative in this account of the structures and agencies which have shaped the course of world history over the ...

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Overview

Winner of the American Sociological Association PEWS Award (1995) for Distinguished Scholarship

The Long Twentieth Century traces the epochal shifts in the relationship between capital accumulation and state formation over a 700-year period. Giovanni Arrighi masterfully synthesizes social theory, comparative history and historical narrative in this account of the structures and agencies which have shaped the course of world history over the millennium.

Borrowing from Braudel, Arrighi argues that the history of capitalism has unfolded as a succession of “long centuries”—ages during which a hegemonic power deploying a novel combination of economic and political networks secured control over an expanding world-economic space. The modest beginnings, rise and violent unravel-ing of the links forged between capital, state power, and geopolitics by hegemonic classes and states are explored with dramatic intensity. From this perspective, Arrighi explains the changing fortunes of Florentine, Venetian, Genoese, Dutch, English, and finally American capitalism. The book concludes with an examination of the forces which have shaped and are now poised to undermine America’s world power.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[A] vivid, fact-filled exposé of the cyclical monetary forces that surge through human society.”—Observer Review

“A work of great theoretical sophistication and formidable range and depth ... Arrighi's synthesis is highly original and packed with illuminating and audacious insights.”—Geoffrey lngham, Cambridge University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859849156
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 12/17/1994
  • Pages: 416

Meet the Author

Giovanni Arrighi (1937–2009) was Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. His books include The Long Twentieth Century, Adam Smith in Beijing, and, with Beverly Silver, Chaos and Governance in the Modern World System. His work has appeared in many publications, including New Left Review—who published an interview on his life-long intellectual trajectory in March–April 2009, and an obituary in Nov–Dec 2009—and there are more accounts on his memorial website.
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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 The Three Hegemonies of Historical Capitalism 27
Hegemony, Capitalism, and Territorialism 27
The Origins of the Modern Inter-state System 36
British Hegemony and Free-Trade Imperialism 47
US Hegemony and the Rise of the Free Enterprise System 58
Towards a New Research Agenda 74
2 The Rise of Capital 85
The Antecedents of Systemic Cycles of Accumulation 85
The Genesis of High Finance 96
The First (Genoese) Systemic Cycle of Accumulation 109
The Second (Dutch) Systemic Cycle of Accumulation 127
The Dialectic of State and Capital 144
3 Industry, Empire, and the "Endless" Accumulation of Capital 159
The Third (British) Systemic Cycle of Accumulation 159
The Dialectic of Capitalism and Territorialism 174
The Dialectic of Capitalism and Territorialism (Continued) 195
Reprise and Preview 214
4 The Long Twentieth Century 239
The Dialectic of Market and Plan 239
The Fourth (US) Systemic Cycle of Accumulation 269
The Dynamics of Global Crisis 300
Epilogue: Can Capitalism Survive Success? 325
Figures 357
References 373
Index 391
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