Immanuel Wallerstein (editor)

The Fernand Braudel Center
A book review by Danny Yee © 1996
Review is a quarterly journal "for the study of economies, historical systems, and civilizations", "committed to the pursuit of a perspective which recognizes the primacy of analyses of economies over long historical time and large space, the holism of the socio-historical process, and the transitory (heuristic) nature of theories" (from its editorial policy). Coupled with a liberal publication policy, this allows room for a wide range of articles, ranging from detailed case studies of narrow topics and restricted regions and times to broader analyses of global history and world-systems theory. Ideologically Review has a "left" bias, but its primary focus is not political.

The four issues of Volume XVIII (1995) run to 678 pages of text. Number one is a special issue on "labour unrest in the world economy, 1870-1990". The other issues are more varied, so I describe in detail the contents of issue number four, which contains five articles. The first is a critique of Samuel Huntingdon's definition of "civilization" (in a debate in Foreign Affairs), arguing that he failed to acknowledge the context of his work, in particular alternative conceptions of civilization derived from Hegel, Toynbee, and Braudel and Wallerstein. The second is a study of the incorporation of the Colorado delta area of Baja California into the periphery of the world-economy between 1900 and 1910, a study which, despite its narrow geographical and temporal focus, successfully connects to wider perspectives. The third is a time-series study of development dependency in Mexico and Brazil which attempts to combine quantitative comparative analysis with historical studies of individual nations. The fourth, based on interviews with Cuban and Mexican left intellectuals, surveys changing attitudes to national autonomy in a world dominated by global capitalism. The final article (in Spanish, with an English summary, illustrating Review's custom of printing the occasional foreign language article) is about the move away from universalist movements of resistance to more particularist ones.

As a generalist I find some of the material in Review narrow, but I usually end up reading most of the articles in each issue. Though my personal preference is for monographs, there is nothing like an interdisciplinary journal for broadening one's perspective. Review is not expensive (there is a very good discount rate for subscribers outside the OECD) and I will be renewing my subscription.

April 1996

External links:
- details at the Fernand Braudel Center
Related reviews:
- more economic history
- books about economics + finance
- other journals
%T Review
%E Wallerstein, Immanuel
%I The Fernand Braudel Center
%O quarterly journal
%G 01479032