By Giovanni Arrighi

Winner of the yankee Sociological organization PEWS Award (1995) for wonderful Scholarship The lengthy 20th Century strains the epochal shifts within the courting among capital accumulation and country formation over a 700-year interval. Giovanni Arrighi masterfully synthesizes social idea, comparative heritage and old narrative during this account of the constructions and organisations that have formed the process global historical past over the millennium. Borrowing from Braudel, Arrighi argues that the historical past of capitalism has spread out as a succession of "long centuries" -- a long time within which a hegemonic energy deploying a unique mix of financial and political networks secured regulate over an increasing world-economic area. The modest beginnings, upward push and violent unravel-ing of the hyperlinks cast among capital, country strength, and geopolitics through hegemonic periods and states are explored with dramatic depth. From this angle, Arrighi explains the altering fortunes of Florentine, Venetian, Genoese, Dutch, English, and at last American capitalism. The booklet concludes with an exam of the forces that have formed and at the moment are poised to undermine America's international strength.

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Profondément blessé dans son ego, apparemment aussi démesuré que le trou du canal en question, Eiffel se retire des affaires pour consacrer son énergie à la recherche. Un laboratoire d'anthologie l'attend :la tour Eiffel elle-même, car l'énergumène s'était aussi assuré auprès des autorités de pouvoir jouir de son chef-d'œuvre pendant les vingt années où elle devait faire de l'ombre aux Parisiens, c'est-à-dire jusqu'en 1910. Il y bricole ardemment les ondes TSF naissantes, explore la météorologie tout aussi balbutiante, s'intéresse à l'aérodynamisme, etc.

Le Second Empire finissant puis la m ' République célèbrent à coups de clairon le génial bâtisseur dont les portraits expriment une si profonde inspiration. Zola, toutefois, ne fera rien du personnage, et un siècle et demi après son aventure, on se demande encore quels en étaie nt les ressorts. La chute du mystérieux phénix de l'architecture industrielle n'en sera que plus rude : engagé comme vedette sur le projet cyclopéen du percement du canal de Panama (1880), il tombe avec le scandale du même nom et devra se refaire un nom dans la recherche appliquée à l'ombre de sa chère tour.

Bref, à peu près tout ce qui fera se pâmer des centaines de millions de ménagères dans les deux siècles à venir. Chapeau bas, monsieur le fils de chapelier ! SON HÉRITAGE NARCISSIQUE, MERCI ! Hélas doté d'une imagination pour le moins débordante, le grand patron Boucicaut incarnera aussi le premier stéréotype de dirigeant intransigeant, paternaliste, et à la cervelle fourrée d'une idéologie quasi religieuse à l'endroit de l'entreprise. Au Bon Marché, les objectifs de vente sont imposés à tous les employés et connaîtront une triste longévité dans le secteur tertiaire de la France d'après-guerre.

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