Review of Giovanni Arrighi, Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty-First Century
Dobbin, Frank. 2009. “Review of Giovanni Arrighi, Adam Smith in Beijing: Lineages of the Twenty-first Century”. American Journal of Sociology 115:293-295 (2009).
4 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2013
Date Written: 2009
In Adam Smith in Beijing, Giovanni Arrighi has given us a sequel to The Long Twentieth Century (Verso, 1994), which traces the center of the economic world from Italy to Holland to Britain to America. In that book he argued that the key to being a hegemon was to control finance and capital, not labor or technology. The new book also builds on his Chaos and Governance in the Modern World System (with Beverly Silver; University of Minnesota Press, 1999), which traces the rise and decline of Holland and then Britain as world economic centers and maps the present position of the United States against those trajectories. The current book is another exercise in world history from an orbit ten thousand miles out. A book of this scope can hardly nail down every argument put forth, and what Arrighi has going for him is a grand vision of where the world is heading based on where it has been.
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