A reading list for Anthony

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Fri Nov 24 09:26:22 MST 2000

Anthony asked me offlist to put together a list of books that address the
issues raised by the debate on the Brenner thesis with Yoshie recently. I
thought others, including Richard Fidler who asked me to sent him Steve
Stern's article on dependency theory from JSTOR, would also find it useful.
So here goes. To prepare the list, I went through my bookshelves and came
up with the following. Those that are marked with an asterisk I have read;
those that are marked with an exclamation mark I would consider essential
for understanding the issues.

*! Janet Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: the world system in
1250-1350, Oxford. (A classic. It demonstrates that Europe was a backwater
in this period.)

*! Perry Anderson, Lineages of the Absolutist State, Verso (Anderson was
something of a Mandelista when he wrote this. It tries to explain the
origins of modern capitalist states in quasi-feudal political structures.)

Giovanni Arrighi, The Long 20th Century, Verso (World systems theorist)

! Paul Baran, Political Economy of Growth, MR (Major statement of Monthly
Review perspective, that imperialism *underdevelops* countries in the 3rd
world rather promoting growth. Influenced a wide range of dependency
theorists, who evolved into world systems school)

Victoria Bawtree & Rajid Rahnema, editors, Post-Development Reader, Zed.
(Collection of articles from dependency theory perspective, including Susan
George's "How the Poor Develop the Rich." Quite!)

Fernand Braudel, A History of Civilizations, Penguin (Braudel was
associated with the Annales journal in France, which was famous for
stressing a non-Eurocentric perspective.)

*! Jim Blaut, Colonizer's Model of the World, Routledge

! Maurice Dobb, Studies in the Development of Capitalism, New World
(Debated Sweezy in the 1950s, taking the position that capitalism arose as
the result of internal class transformations in the 1400s such as
enclosures, etc. Brenner is a self-described Dobbsian.)

* Andre Gunder Frank, Re-Orient, U. of Calif. (A controversial book, even
among world systems theorists. Frank argues not only that the East was more
advanced than Europe in the precapitalist period, but that there is really
no such thing as capitalism!)

Celso Furtado, Economic Development of Latin America, Cambridge (leading
dependency theorist.)

Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America, MR

John Haldon, State and Tributary Mode, Verso (Argues that feudalism existed
throughout the world and implicitly that capitalism could have emerged
elsewhere besides Europe.)

*! Jon Halliday, A Political History of Japanese Capitalism, MR
(Unfortunately out of print, but essential. It demonstrates the origins of
Japanese capitalism in the adoption of feudal absolutism in the
countryside. Consistent with Perry Anderson's analysis.)

! Colin Leys, Rise and Fall of Development Theory, Indiana (Leys is a
critic of dependency theorists, according to Sam Pawlett.)

Thomas Shannon, Introduction to World Systems Perspective, Westview
(basically a textbook sanitized of the Marxist outlook that originally
informed this school.)

! Essential Wallerstein, New Press (collection of articles)

*! Eric Wolf, Europe and the People Without History, U. of Calif. (Wolf has
been associated with world systems theorists because of his identification
with third world peoples, however, it is not so widely known that he
supports the Brenner thesis.)

*! Ellen Meiksins Wood, Origins of Capitalism, MR (Recommend this instead
of anything Brenner has written. His essays are found in difficult to track
down scholarly journals from 25 years ago and his one book is more
specialized than would be useful for anybody first coming around these

Louis Proyect
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