Andre Gunder Frank asks us toReOrientour views away from Eurocentrism-to see the rise of the West as a mere blip in what was, and is again becoming. ReORIENT: Global Economy in the Asian Age. By Andre Gunder Frank. ( Berkeley, University of California Press, ) pp. $ cloth $ paper . ReOrient, Dependency, World System, World-System, Underdevelopment, Development, Theory, Dependence, Pax Americana, US hegemony, Andre, Gunder.

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This book is rfank and important. A fundamental rethinking of the rise of the West and the origin of the world-system. Absolutely essential to understanding world history. Bin Wong,University of California, Irvine. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Project MUSE – ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age (review)

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 gundfr East around 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 Gjnder 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. Read more Read less. Discover Prime Book Box for Kids. Add all three to Cart Add all three to Reoriebt.

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Hunder who bought crank item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start gknder Page 1 of 1. Historical Change and the Limits of European Experience. The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation. Review “A hugely important contribution to the critique of Eurocentric history.

Global Economy in the Asian Age on your Kindle in under frabk minute. Don’t have a Kindle? Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers.

Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention world history world economy gunder frank industrial revolution rise of the west andre gunder great divergence global economy economic development china and india economic system new world frank book asia reorient important eurocentric centuries east eurocentrism.

Frznk of 18 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please reorien again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Georient like the desert, but full of information. Had to read this for a history class, but it is interesting to have read.

Despite a degree in International Economics from an east coast school known for its School of Foreign Service, I firmly believed Max Weber reorrient the Protestant work-ethic was the source of western prosperity. I also believed in American exceptionalism. Frank’s book cured me of both those false notions. A couple points I’d like to add fgank Frank’s thesis explained in other reviews.


The company was founded in California in and sold to the Singapore government in Shipping going East 2 US-bound shipments are full of manufactured goods.

Asia-bound ships are filled with wastepaper or are largely empty. The West continues to produce nothing that Asia really wants. Where in times reoriemt, most of the Asian-bound shipments from England and the Netherlands were boats filled with silver and gold, today we “ship silver” to Asia in the form of electronic fund transfers. Given the trade deficit the US alone has with China and the rest of Asia, it seems only a matter of time before the Chinese start buying Manhattan and US assets the way the Japanese did in the s.

After subjugating Europe, Rome moved eastward under Constantine the Great. First, Constantinople provided a more defensible position for the New Rome indeed where the western capital – Rome — fell in the 5th century, the eastern capital – Constantinople — continued until the 15th century, despite being “on the way” as it were for invading Huns and other invading armies.

But perhaps more importantly, all the commercial action was centered in the East. Moving the capital eastward took it out of the backwater of Italy and moved it closer to the overland trade routes with the Asia.

Western soldiers had never imagined a city as wealthy as Constantinople. When they saw it they had to have it. The West, especially Venice, did to Constantinople in as the British did to Bengal in and the Americans have been doing to the Native Americans since they got here. They took by force, not by superior ethic, religion, tradition, or racial superiority.

The book itself, despite its “must read status” and historical importance, is very poorly written and highly repetitious. If you read the concluding few pages, you will have the main points of the argument. Read the rest of the book if you want the details. And Frank provides plenty of detail, footnotes, references, etc.

All in all, this book is important for understanding the world’s past as well as the contours of the future. I wonder how long it will take for the pendulum to swing back to Asia. Chinese-US relations are getting interesting, aren’t they? Andre Gunder Frank wrote ReOrient to demonstrate that the present Western predominance in the world economy is fairly new. It began when Europe gained control of the New World’s natural resources, particularly silver, and used it to “buy a ticket on the Asian train” Gunder Frank’s apt metaphor.

Gunder Frank also speculates that East Asia’s present economic growth and potential will eventually help it regain economic hegemony in the not too distant future. Finally, an objective book on actual world history! None of that one-sided Eurocentrism found in other non-objective world history books. Written in an now and then ghnder but usually lively manner, Frank’s book veers between the purely analytical and cautious and the passionate and polemical. This combination gives otherwise possibly dull matter a tempo and tension that should make it well worth reading for more than just specialists.

Frank’s main thesis is the by now increasingly, if still far insufficiently, acknowledged fact that Europe was ahead neither in technological development nor in wealth nor in military power in the days of the Columbian conquests of the Americas.


Contrary to this popular belief, Europe was in fact for the most part behind in all these factors until roughly Frank establishes this thesis, which he shares with other major writers against Eurocentrism such as James Blaut, Jack Goody, Eric Wolf and so forth, anndre much statistical support and excellence and a strong sense of indignation, carrying the reader along through thorough analysis of Asian trading patterns, reports of Portuguese sailors, methodological discussions and much more.

Frani this, Frank not only argues against the received opinion, still taught in practically every high school history class, that Europe was dominant in the world from the Middle Ages on if not earlierbut also against colleagues in heterodoxy whom he accuses of still ceding too much ground to a Eurocentric, Euro-endogenous view of the origin of the Industrial Revolution, among whom are giants like Andee and Braudel. Overall, reorifnt book is very closely and strongly argued and it will be hard to find fault with any of the analysis if one has an open mind and is willing to have received opinions changed by reprient facts.

Nonetheless, some criticisms can be made. The first is that Frank has a tendency to go off on tangents and has trouble keeping the structure of the book together, leading to oddities such as an almost impassably long chapter on mostly Chinese coinage, which frajk from the flow of the argument.

The second is that where he correctly attacks the Eurocentric mistakes made by the usually also very heterodox ideas frajk these fields of Marx and his supporters, he goes overboard in this in wanting to reject the idea of ‘capitalism’ and ‘feudalism’ altogether, which is not helpful, and leads himself to remove all useful analysis of production and classes from his historical crank.

Andre Gunder Frank

This in turn leads to the major error in his approach, which is the excessive focus on trade, particularly framk trade, as vehicle for historical change. The third is that Frank seems to want to put much stock instead into the independent power of cyclical phenomena in economics such as the Kondratieff cycle; surely an interesting phenomenon but not one that can be taken as causative on its own without losing the scientific method rerient political economy altogether.

The fourth is the focus on Asia, which comes almost entirely at the expense of focus on Africa, and to a lesser degree the Americas. For guder reasons, this book is a masterpiece that belongs in any intellectual library. See all 18 reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway.

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