The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View

Front Cover
Verso, 2002 - Business & Economics - 213 pages
12 Reviews
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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View

User Review  - Griffin MB - Goodreads

a good overview of the history of theories of the origin of capitalism. comes out swinging for the Brenner/political marxist thesis--ie that capitalism developed first in one country, England, as a ... Read full review

Review: The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View

User Review  - Michael Brocenos - Goodreads

Really awesome. Concise and to the point yet detailed examination of capitalism's history. Doesn't get into as much detail as I wanted now that I finished it but I'm still rating it five stars for ... Read full review


Marxist Debates
Marxist Alternatives
Commerce or Capitalism?
The Agrarian Origin of Capitalism
Agrarian Capitalism and Beyond
The Origin of Capitalist Imperialism
Capitalism and the Nation State
Modernity and Postmodernity

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

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.

Bibliographic information