Contemporary studies on social structure and the world political ecomy tend to be concerned primarily with present conditions and what these promise--or threaten for the future of the planet. The authors of this volume have taken a less fashionable stance, looking instead to the recent past and the pivotal historical moments that have formed the world we live in. Consisting of fourteen essays contributed by an international group of specialists, Rethinking the Nineteenth Century examines the social formations of that period and integrates them into a modern theoretical framework. The broad issues of class and state formation, imperialism and nationalism, and ascent and decline in the world system are the central focus of the book.
FRANCISCO O. RAMIREZ is Associate Professor of Education and Sociology at Stanford University.