The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View

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Verso, 2002 - Business & Economics - 213 pages
3 Reviews
Capitalism is not a natural and inevitable consequence of human nature, nor is it simply an extension of age-old practices of trade and commerce.

In this original and provocative book Ellen Meiksins Wood reminds us that capitalism is not a natural and inevitable consequence of human nature, nor is it simply an extension of age-old practices of trade and commerce. Rather, it is a late and localized product of very specific historical conditions, which required great transformations in social relations and in the human interaction with nature.

This new edition is substantially revised and expanded, with extensive new material on imperialism, anti-Eurocentric history, capitalism and the nation-state, and the differences between capitalism and non-capitalist commerce. The author traces links between the origin of capitalism and contemporary conditions such as 'globalization', ecological degradation, and the current agricultural crisis.
 

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A wonderful book with clear and well-articulated arguments. For "the rise of capitalism" debates an inevitable source. Her ideas on the origin of capitalism shed light on the contemporary capitalist mode of production.

Review: The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View

User Review  - Bill - Goodreads

Excellent critique of the origin of capitalism and accessible to all readers. No "over the top" economic proselytizing even if her main basis is a Marxian revisionist point of view. Good points about ... Read full review

Contents

Marxist Debates
34
Marxist Alternatives
50
Commerce or Capitalism?
73
The Agrarian Origin of Capitalism
95
Agrarian Capitalism and Beyond
125
The Origin of Capitalist Imperialism
147
Capitalism and the Nation State
166
Modernity and Postmodernity
182
Notes
199
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About the author (2002)

Ellen Meiksins Wood, for many years Professor of Political Science at York University, Toronto, is the author of many books, including Democracy Against Capitalism and, with Verso, The Pristine Culture of Capitalism, The Origin of Capitalism, Peasant-Citizen and Slave, Citizens to Lords, Empire of Capital and Liberty and Property.

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