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From the Publisher"Göran Therborn's The World: A Beginner's Guide, a survey of the present state, problems and outlook of the globe by a Swedish master sociologist, is one of the rare books that lives up to its title. It is lucid, intelligent about the future and admirably researched."
Guardian, books of the year 2011
"Therborn's work represents what great comparative/historical sociology is all about. Essential."
"[Therborn] compresses a vast and fascinating range of historical and current world data into a detailed but intelligible account of the changes in planetary human society."
"At a time when historians and economists tend to retire behind the barricades of their increasingly specialized professions, answering the big comparative questions about the pathways into and out of modernity, the global processes of inequality and the forces of possible change have been largely left to the sociologists. In my view, Göran Therborn, probably Sweden's most distinguished social scientist, has made more essential contributions in these fields than anyone else, by a combination of analytical lucidity, common sense and an extraordinary command of international comparative data. For those who have read any of his earlier works, the appearance of a new book is inevitably a major intellectual event."
"Göran Therborn has written another of his incredible empirical surveys, this time of the whole world today, in its historical context. He calls it a beginner's guide. Every reader will emerge better equipped to understand the realities of our world, and hopefully to act intelligently in the light of these realities."
Immanuel Wallerstein, Yale University
"We are in an unprecedented world, spanned by a joined-up economy and a global moral community. Professor Therborn - a practical, craftsmanlike sociologist, who works on a human scale - is an ideal guide to our unfamiliar present and future, who, without condescension, makes sense of complexity and turns bafflement into clarity."
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, University of Notre Dame