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Andre Gunder Frank asks us to ReOrient our views away from Eurocentrism—to see the rise of the West as a mere blip in what was, and is again becoming, an Asia-centered world. In a bold challenge to received historiography and social theory he turns on its head the world according to Marx, Weber, and other theorists, including Polanyi, Rostow, Braudel, and Wallerstein. Frank explains the Rise of the West in world economic and demographic terms that relate it in a single historical sweep to the decline of the East around 1800. European states, he says, used the silver extracted from the American colonies to buy entry into an expanding Asian market that already flourished in the global economy. Resorting to import substitution and export promotion in the world market, they became Newly Industrializing Economies and tipped the global economic balance to the West. That is precisely what East Asia is doing today, Frank points out, to recover its traditional dominance. As a result, the "center" of the world economy is once again moving to the "Middle Kingdom" of China. Anyone interested in Asia, in world systems and world economic and social history, in international relations, and in comparative area studies, will have to take into account Frank's exciting reassessment of our global economic past and future.
Andre Gunder Frank, of the University of Toronto, has published more than thirty books. Most recently he coedited, with Barry Gills, World System: Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand? (1996).
"Frank shows how Marx and Weber got it all wrong. A fundamental rethinking of the rise of the West and the origin of the world-system. Absolutely essential to understanding world history."—Albert Bergesen,University of Arizona
"The great virtue of this stimulating book is its relentless push to redefine our framework for thinking about the early modern economy. . . . A benchmark study."—R. Bin Wong,University of California, Irvine
PEWS Book Award, American Sociological Association, Political Economy of the World Systems sectio
World History Association 1999 Book Prize, World History Association