Teoría de la historia

Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento. Instituto de Ciencias. Área de Historia. Director del área de investigación "Poéticas de la historiografía". BUENOS AIRES ❖ ARGENTINA

➻ Eileen Power [1889-1940]

Power_EileenAny circle is desperately broken by the loss of its most vivid personality; and learned circles-it may perhaps be said without offence-are not often over-endowed with vivid character. Eileen Power was very much more than a bit of a learned circle. All sorts of circles and groups touched at that dancing and radiant point. But this is a journal for students, for the learners and those who should be learned. Some other circles may have suffered less: I do not know. I do know that for these two the loss can hardly be measured. Economica: no, Eileen Power was not an economist. She was not trained as one. That is unimportant: Ricardo was not nor, I think, Jevons. Much more fundamental- she would have hated to spend her life with attention concentrated on one aspect of human activity, and could never have brought herself to neglect men and women for generalisations about them, bankers for their liquidity preferences or horse-dealers for J. A. Hobson’s doctrine of their bargains. And from the other side, as she was the first to allow, even proclaim, she had not that combina- tion of speculative and practical interest and sagacity which makes the ideal economist. Besides, there were aspects of economic life which always remained a little mysterious to her : she was not adept at the nicely calculated less or more. She spent the best years of her mature life in an atmosphere well impregnated with preferences and margins, various sorts of -polies, and all sorts of mathematical refine- ments in statistics, but retained an amused indifference to the finer and less human issues, combined with respect and affection for those who argue about them and a settled loyalty to the School of which they and she were parts. She was compact of loyalties, to institutions, to ideas, above all to people. But on the shelves of her splendid library you would find some scores of books of poetry to one “Principles of Economics” or any similar title; and she made no profession of loyalty to the ideas of Marshall or Marx, or any of their annotators. I suspect that her reading of them was a reading in them; and for Marshall I would not guarantee that. I have known her for twenty-seven years-not as an undergraduate; for during her early days at Girton I was not resident in Cambridge, and she never listened to me from a bench. We first met when she came back as a very young don to direct historical studies at Girton in 1913. She had taken her degree, a remarkably good one of course, in 1910. Next she laid the foundations of her later intimacies with French scholars, and gained an appreciation of how learning may be carried and conveyed by art, in study and research at the Sorbonne. Then she made her first contact with the London School of Economics as Shaw Student from 1911 to 1913. She appreciated London and the free life, and finally mastered the handling of records. So far as I know, she was occupied-professionally-with nothing else at that time but the medieval English nunneries. Her chief advisers were Professor Hamilton Thompson and Dr. Coulton. I say advisers because, although always most generously grateful for help, she cannot properly be called anyone’s pupil. She worked her, way along lines of her own choosing. In history, it was the social side that held her from the first, and the economic in relation but in subordination to the social. Yet she kept in touch all her life with many sides and epochs of history. And she could, I imagine, have passed easily from teaching History to teaching English. A year after she came back to Girton war brutally inter- rupted study. Work on the nunneries was checked, though not laid aside. The men’s colleges emptied far faster than in 1939-40, and University life became unnatural and ill- balanced. No doubt a certain distaste for that life as it is pursued here, which Eileen Power always retained, was due in part to its tainted flavour during those four harsh years from 1914 to 1918. But only in part. She resented fiercely-yes, that is the word-the survivals in the older Universities of inequality between the sexes; and she was a little impatient of the single-sex life of a women’s college, especially if any of its members defer to, or even acquiesce in, the academic dominance of men. Years later, she could not quite pardon a certain imaginary female Common Room for falling in ranks ‘for’ Lord Peter Wimsey. A chance for showing fight came about the middle of those war years. A big general course of lectures on English Economic History had to be provided because the man who had given them was going into government service. Eileen Power was already the obvious deputy. There was an interview with the Secretary of the Historical Board, a bachelor don who saw little of women and had no feminist sympathies. But he had humour and used to tell the story against himself with gusto. ” She was charming. We arranged everything in a few minutes. Then she uncovered her batteries-‘ Mr. , I shall not give these lectures unless I have a University lecture room ‘-What was I to do ? She got it.” In the Cambridge of 1916 a college lecturer, man or woman, had no right to one of the few University lecture rooms; and her status was that of lecturer in a women’s college. Whether she would have left Cambridge if she had not had the chance, and the experience, of an Albert Kahn Travelling Fellowship in 1920-1921. I do not know. But I think she would: she was getting restless here. After the Kahn years of wandering among races and civilisations and cities, after the Khyber Pass the Spice Islands and Pekin, with the stirring of a score of half-dormant wants and interests in a receptive many-sided personality, life in even the best of Cambridge colleges might seem a shade parochial. And there was always the dislike of the monstrous regiment of men. So when the chance came in 1921 she moved to London, its social variety, its Record Office and the London School where she was no stranger, to the vast regret of Girton and Cambridge. Before she sailed she had published her first book, a little one. The Paycockes of Coggeshall (1920) has only 66 pages, but it has all the ‘ notes ‘ of Eileen Power-friend- ships behind it, hum.an interest in the past, research lightly carried, a special care for wool in history. A year after her return (1922) came the only big book that she com- pleted, a very big book, more than 700 close pages of the Medieval English Nunneries, an early volume in Dr. Coulton’s series of Medieval Studies. I think myself that it is just a little too big. Perhaps it had been too long (nine or ten years) on the stocks; and she had used rather different sorts of timber in the building. Running through it again I even found some few bits of what I should call Ph.D. timber. Could it be Eileen Power who wrote (p. 98)- ” It is perhaps unnecessary to postulate that since monastic houses differed greatly in size and wealth, the sources of their income would differ accordingly ? ” But it was very much Eileen Power who wrote most of the book, and especially Chapter XI, ” The Olde Daunce “, nearly forty pages of which I would not sacrifice a line-gay, learned, full of the tears of things, moving without one clumsy step among the pitiful stories of apostate nuns, against whom ” the Church could call in the majesty of the State to help, and what was a girl to do ? Can one defy the King as well as the Bishop ? To a soul in hell must there be added a body in prison ?” Maitland could hardly have done it better. There is ‘economy’ in the book, but not a great deal. Nuns were poor accountants and what we know of their estates is not particularly interesting. But it was not written with the economic motive. Eileen Power set out to tell all that was worth telling about the English nunneries and their place in society. She did it so well, exploding old fallacies and uncovering fresh truth, that no one need try the theme again for a generation or two. The books of the next few years were lighter, not volumes for severe scholars, but possibly something better-Medieval People (1924), The Goodman of Paris (1928). Of a different class, the three volumes of Tudor Economic Documents (1924), edited for students with Professor Tawney, did not give her the chance of showing constructive qualities. There is no regular introduction-not that this is a fault-and I do not know how the work of selection, which is of course excellent, was shared between the editors. By this time Eileen Power was a Reader in Medieval Economic History in the University of London. Of her University work in the twenties and early thirties here is an outside friend’s impression, which insiders must amplify or query as they read. Heavy lecturing, day and night, carried on not merely with devotion but with pleasure, and patently successful: much private direction of studies and research, which soon bore fruit : an interest in, and a willingness to undertake, teaching far outside the range that the title of her office suggests (she was very fond of some of her modern teaching) : a generosity in shouldering the work of a colleague sick or on leave which we outsiders used to think was abused by the local authorities; and a warm loyalty to the School, which did not interfere with witty and incisive criticism of some aspects of its govern- ment. Promotion to a professorship came in 193I. All through her London life the circles that she touched were increasing in a way rather bewildering to people of few circles. The passion for travel-travel was her reported recreation when her name first appeared in Who’s Who-led to an active interest in travel publication and the editorship, with Sir Denison Ross, of the Broadway Traveller’s Series. In later editions of Who’s Who after ‘ travel’ came ‘ and dancing’. The woman professor is not very common, even yet, even in London. The woman professor with ‘and dancing’ in Who’s Who was unique. Her library was that of a woman of learning, a woman of letters and a collector of books, all combined. Her rooms were full of beautiful things, mostly Chinese. And-this is important-her dress was appropriate to her rooms, although not mostly Chinese. At some learned gathering not very long ago it seemed to my eye more than usually glittering: ” Eileen, you look like Semiramis…” ” I thought I looked like a Professor of Economic History.” She was in. touch with most of literary London and did a great deal of reviewing, mainly for the New Statesman. Brilliant reviewing it was. There are notices of hers years old over the imperfect memory of which one still chuckles happily. Then there were music and the drama and the ballet, with the appropriate societies. Hospitality as con- ducted at 20, Mecklenburgh Square, was as delicate and generous as everything else in the house. Relatives and scholars and all the different sorts of friends, and the children of friends, shared it in perpetual succession. If Eileen was away, the comforts of her house would constantly be free to one or other of these people. And all that the house- keeper of No. 20 did for her mistress-but that was a word not current there-she did as gladly and efficiently for anyone who shared her opinion of ‘Miss Eileen’. The word mistress was not current, mainly because Eileen was by nature a friend of all the world, but partly because of her undogmatic Labour-Socialist principles, rooted in sympathy for the unfortunate and real hatred of public or international injustice. If one insinuated that the library and the travel, the frocks that indicated a Professor- of Economic History, the space and furnishings of No. 2o, even those endless generosities mostly so intimate that they cannot be written down, might not all be permitted to single women, however eminent, in the classless society when it comes, she took it all with her gay smile, went on as before, and paid twenty guineas for the next professorial outfit. She was not a stickler for petty consistency. To get back to work. If one cannot put it in so many words that she founded the Economic History Society in 1926 and so made possible the first number of the Economic History Review in January, 1927, it is certain that she was Secretary of the Society from the beginning and always a prime 220px-Eileen_Powersource of its vitality. Before the Review was founded, her travels, her old associations with Paris, the opportunities which London gives for meeting visitors to Museum Street and Chancery Lane-and always the charm of her society- had given her a wide range of scholar friends, American, Italian, Dutch, Chinese, Russian, German, but above all French and Belgian. Elie Halevy and Marc Bloch, Pirenne and Ganshof are the first names that come to mind; but there were very many others. In her own field I think Marc Bloch was the man she most admired, for his books and his inspiring editorship of the Annales d’histoire economique et sociale, a journal whose full name describes exactly the sort of history she cared for most. The straiter sect of economic historians may be reminded that, just as Eileen Power began large-scale work with Medieval Nunneries so Marc Bloch began with Les rois thaumaturges, a full study of the faith that in England led to ‘ touching for the Kings Evil’. The Review, of which she was never an editor but always a member of the editorial committee, gave every opportunity for utilising and widening all these international connections. In the end there were few English historians better known outside England. A recognition of this came a few years ago when, to her undisguised delight, she was made a Corresponding Member of the very ‘select’ Medieval Academy of America. From the time of the Paycockes of Coggeshall and after the Nunneries were published the leisure time for research that she always managed to make was filling up with medieval wool. The first printed result, so far as I can recall, was “The English Wool Trade in the Reign of Edward IV.” in the Cambridge Historical Yournal for 1926. She reminded us that, famous as the medieval wool trade was, ” its history was still largely unwritten “. Fier habit was to work back and forward between the trade and the flocks that supplied it, her main interests seeming to lie sometimes in the English countryside and sometimes among the merchants. She wandered into other countrysides in order to prepare and eventually to publish in 1932, in Vol. VII. of the Cambridge Medieval History, an admirable and, what is rarer in joint-stock history, a most readable chapter on ” Peasant Life and Rural Conditions “. Meanwhile there had begun a scholarly partnership which was to become closer in time. In I932 appeared the Studies in the History of English Trade in the Fifteenth Century, edited by Eileen Power and M. M. Postan. It was the result of several years’ work in a seminar, and only those who were members and contributors can say just how much of the inspiration and guidance for the various sections was hers. I should guess most of both. Her own contribution was a 50-page article on the Wool Trade which developed the themes touched on in the much shorter article of I926 and went a very long way towards removing the reproach that the trade’s history was “largely unwritten “. This wool trade work was very valuable and strictly original; but I hope I shall not be accused of indifference to wool-I have handled it as best I could in my time-if I say that for my private reading I prefer Eileen Power on “The Olde Daunce” to Eileen Power on ” shorlings and morlings ” and ” locchi “, or even on deferred payments and credit. She was acquainted with problems of deferred payment but had no natural relish for them. The Pastons and Celys and their like help to keep her wool narrative alive, and as they used to say in the trade ‘ lofty ‘ ; but there is not so much room in it for her own personality, a thing vastly more important than her learning, as there was in the story of the fallen nuns. All the time her many activities were never interrupted. They only multiplied. She was seen more in Cambridge when she accepted a place on the governing body of Girton. The last queer remlnant of inequality between the sexes which a reformed Cambridge retains she treated with amused ridicule, and I dare say a bit of contempt. But she knew and admitted generously-how that word generous recurs: there is reason-that women there had got nearly all. She saw them on Factulty Boards; holding University Lectureships and eligible for Professorships; examining in the Triposes. She came to her first History Tripos dinner -hitherto a very male orgy-in the Combination Room at King’s as my guest, and to accompany the first woman examiner, who was also her closest Cambridge friend. She dressed for the triumph; enjoyed it immensely; and raised the level of talk and wit in that Combination Room. Some years later, when the new chair of Economic History in Cambridge was to fall vacant, she knew very well that, if she cared to stand, hers would be a very strong candidature. There is an elder statesman of conservative leanings at Cambridge who let me know, with statesmanlike caution, that as chairs were now open to women, why, that was the sort of woman we wanted. I did my best to persuade her to stand, but in the end she decided not to let her name go forward. Cambridge appointed her working partner as she had wished. Meanwhile Oxford had paid her a compliment almost as high as Cambridge could have done if it had seen fit to offer her a chair. She was invited to give the Ford Lectures for 1938-9. Into them she put the cream of her years of work on medieval wool and wool people. The lectures, like all her lectures, her talks and her after-dinner speeches, vere an immense success. I did not hear them and I have not seen the MS. which, everyone will be glad to know, is nearly ready for publication. It is hoped that when the storms are over ways may be found for publishing with the lectures some at least of the masses of close research on which they were based. Of one activity of these later years I am able to speak with rather special knowledge. Long ago she began to tell me that the Cambridge Modern History was deficient on the economic side and the Cambridge Medieval History not nearly so full on that side as it should be-though she had written for the Medieval and I had written for both. This needed no telling. Had not Keynes spoken some- where of a plunge into the rather dense waters of the Modern and a failure to bring up one single reference to the price revolution of the sixteenth century ? What was to be done ? A new edition economically adequate or a new book ? We decided for the new book -a Cambridge Economic History parallel to the two others, but on a smaller scale. The Syndics of the University Press agreed at once and appointed the two projectors its editors. Eileen Power was to have prime responsibility for the mnedieval volumes-the plan was for three of these-and her colleague for the modern, another three or four. We were to leave 517CQ5J7B5L._SL500_AA300_the Ancient World because the Cambridge Ancient History was still unfinished, and was giving more attention to economic things than its predecessors had. We got to work in 1934. The plan for the medieval volumes was hers, but elaborated in co-operation with the colleague at the London School, already very near to her and to become much nearer after he had left it. Rigid chronological treatment was to be avoided and contributors were to be few, each to take a big theme and treat it com- paratively. When we got to work we were a little dis- appointed to find that the number of scholars with the nerve for such treatment was less than we had hoped. The central section of our first volume and some sections of our second had to be more subdivided than we had wished because the man who knew all about Lilliput might profess his inability to compare it with Laputa or Brobdingnag. Eileen Power had incisive ways of referring to such people. This first volume was to be, is to be, agrarian. My colleague had just finished some editorial work on its last chapter when she was taken; but, war or peace, the volume shall be out early next year. As the contributors come from ten different countries, it will be understood that there were editorial difficulties even before September, 1939. For the other medieval-the Power-volumes, equally international in design, her colleague has the full scheme, the contributors, and a few of the chapters; but not her chapter in Vol. II, nor any immediate prospect of getting many others. Yet, thanks to her conception, the agrarian volume is a whole and can stand alone, as it must, until the nations can co-operate again. The last two and a half years of her life were a time of great private happiness and growing public misery. What man has made of man nearly broke her indomitable heart before it was broken by act of God. But I will think of her in the garden of the house that they had just built not very far from mine, gay through all her distress, enjoying with the zest of a girl what was to her a new outdoor activity and surrounded by her springing flowers.

[J. H. CLAPHAM. “Eileen Power, 1889-1940”, in Economica, New Series, vol. VII, nº 28, noviembre de 1940, pp. 351-359]


➻ Michael Moissey Postan [1899-1981]

UnknownThe Economic History Society mourns the loss of one of its most distinguished members. Sir Michael Postan died in Cambridge on 12 December 1981. A funeral service, attended only by members of his family and a few personal friends, was held in Cambridge on 18 December. Munia Postan, as he was known to his friends, was born in 1899 at Tighina in Bessarabia, the son of a local proprietor. An education in the local high school and in Odessa was enriched by a period in an English school. Entrance to the University of St. Petersburg to study Natural Sciences and Sociology coincided with the start of the First World War, and he moved on in 1915 to the University of Odessa and, significantly, to the study of Law and Economics. Postan enlisted in the army in 1917 and was demobilised in 1918. His interrupted studies were resumed at the University of Kiev, but at the end of 1919, finding himself out of sympathy with events following the 1917 revolution, he left Russia in circumstances of some risk to himself. There followed what must have been a hard year in 1920, travelling around Central Europe, attempting unsuccessfully to continue his studies in Vienna and Cernowitz, and picking up a living as a journalist. The year, however, no doubt contributed to that command of foreign languages which was the envy of his colleagues. He landed in England at the end of 1920 and in 1921 took the first step in the direction that was to liberate his latent talents by enrolling for a first degree at the London School of Economics. He followed his London degree in 1924 by a Master’s degree at the School, submitting a thesis in 1926. In the same year he was appointed Research Assistant to Eileen Power. From 1927, lectureships at University College, London, the London School of Economics again, and Cambridge University followed in quick succession, and in 1938, still under 40, he was appointed to succeed Sir John Clapham in the Chair of Economic History at Cambridge. Apart from a spell in government service during the Second World War, he held this post until his retirement in 1965. His retirement from the Chair of Economic History at Cambridge was marked by the issue of a special Festschrift issue of the Economic History Review (2nd ser. XVIII, nº 1, August 1965). He was a Fellow of Peterhouse from 1935 until his death. The facts of Munia Postan’s life, however, give little hint of the formative role he has played in the development of economic history as an academic discipline in Britain and the whole world. His reputation as a medievalist was founded in the late 1920s and 1930s by his contribution to the joint work with Eileen Power, Studies in English Trade in the Fifteenth Century, and by a handful of major articles to which the overworked adjective ‘seminal’ may truly be applied. It is hard to think of many other articles as influential and enduring as those on ‘credit in medieval trade’ of 1928, on ‘the accumulation of capital’ of 1935, and on ‘the fifteenth century’ of 1939. The stream of major contributions to our understanding of medieval agrarian and commercial organization was renewed after 1945, culminating in the masterly survey of English medieval agrarian society in the second edition of Volume I of the Cambridge Economic History of Europe in 1966. The main results of his British medieval work were published as a book only latterly: The Medieval Economy and Society (1972). Postan’s war work in the Ministry of Economic Warfare led, after the war, to commissions in the civil series of official war histories. And the first book of which he was the sole author was a history of British War Production. This was followed by another in which he was joined with another medievalist, Denys Hay, and J. D. Scott, on The Design and Development of Weapons: Studies in Government and Industrial Organization. Even more surprising to his admirers among medievalists, there appeared in 1961 that astonishing tour de force, An Economic History of Europe, 1945-1964, a marvellous testimony to his breadth of learning. Throughout his career his work was informed by his insistence on the exact application of proper economic concepts to the interpretation of economic history, on the need to keep track of long-run trends, and on finding some common explanation of similar developments in different countries or regions. He was, for example, the first in Britain to emphasize the economic importance of medieval population trends. But his leadership in the academic world of economic history undisputed for the last forty years or more and recognized in 1959 by election to a Fellowship of the British Academy, and in 1980 by a Knighthood, was also exercised through his teaching and his editorial work. His vivid, wide-ranging, and imaginative lectures to undergraduates at Cambridge and elsewhere, as well as to postgraduates and colleagues at seminars and congresses in which he was for ever throwing out ideas and interpretations that compelled responses from minds less mercurial than his, have influenced the course of economic history no less than his distinguished writings. Postan was very widely read indeed in social theory and philosophy, and for many years gave important lectures on Marxism at Cambridge (together with courses in medieval economic history, the Industrial Revolution, and a special subject on British economic history in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries). Some-but only some-of the flavour of this aspect of his scholarship is captured in the collection of his essays, Fact and Relevance: Essays on Historical Method. Postan’s influence was channelled, above all, through two great editorial tenures: first, either alone or jointly with other colleagues, he shaped and saw through the press no less than five of the massively important volumes of the Cambridge Economic History of Europe. Second, from 1934 to 1960 he was Editor-for most of the time sole Editor-of the Economic History Review. He was always an ‘initiating’ editor, seeking articles actively, rewriting vigorously (sometimes to the chagrin of their authors), always determined to maintain the international coverage and relevance of the Review. And as Editor, Vice- President, and finally Honorary Vice-President, he exercisedensayos-sobre-agricultura-y-problemas-generales-economia-medieval-9788432304002 a leading influ- ence on the destinies of the Economic History Society for almost half a century. Together with Professors Braudel, Heckscher, and Söderlund he helped to create in 1960 the International Economic History Association. As a man and a personality, Postan was direct, alert, and perceptive, with an impish humour, quick on his feet intellectually, deploying an incomparable intelligence and a marvellous command of English, which had an idiosyncratic style to it whether in speech or writing. He could project an epithet like an arrow, glinting in the sun before it struck. His personal magnetic field produced powerful attractive forces, which sprang not from any commanding physical presence-although he was also so specific in that physical sense as a person-but from an essential vitality, from being so alive. The vitality was also physical. Every holiday used to be on the end of a rope: the Alpine Club only elects serious mountaineers. Increasingly in his later years Postan turned to music, particularly to opera, and in music and poetry, in particular, the heritage of his native country stayed vividly alive, although he became English by adoption in personal style, and in political and social values. As physical vitality waned he stayed frail but indestructible, to his 83rd year- as active as ever academically and intellectually. If anything, his intellectual vigour seemed to grow. His mind remained resilient, outward looking, out-going, youthful, the secret of his rapport with young scholars. He had a total commitment to ideas and had read so widely in philosophy and social theory that he was never trapped within any system of thought. Postan’s vitality and enthusiasm were also the source of his pervasive professionalism. Scholarship, conviction, and enthusiasm always ran together, whether in his research, in music, or as a collector of porcelain. There was always a sort of magic about him which could fill a lecture room at an international conference when the buzz reached the lobby that Postan was speaking, or in an animated circle at his home in Cambridge. It is not possible to think of economic history during the last fifty years either in Britain or the wider world without Munia Postan. A towering figure academically, he exerted his influence on colleagues and students by the force of a dynamic but benign personality. And the members of the Economic History Society will remember him not only as a historian who ranked with the foremost exponents of the subject, but also as a scholar of sparkling vitality and brilliant intellect, and a professional colleague of enduring and timeless stature.

[M.W.F. y P.M. “Professor Sir Michael Moissey Postan, 1899-1981”, in The Economic History Review, New Series, vol. XXXV, nº 1, febrero de 1982, pp. iv-vi]

➻ Elena Chiozza [1919-2011]

100_0310El 8 de enero de 2011 falleció en la ciudad de Buenos Aires la Dra. Prof. Elena Margarita Chiozza, Elena, simplemente, para los que tuvimos el placer de conocerla y tratarla en Bahía Blanca en un determinado momento de su extensa trayectoria docente y profesional. Su paso por el Departamento de Geografía de la Universidad Nacional del Sur como directora, docente e investigadora del mismo entre los años 1971 y 1973, aunque breve, marcó un punto de inflexión en el desarrollo de la institución, incentivando y promoviendo la investigación geográfica desde un enfoque modernizador y riguroso, abierto hacia otras disciplinas y a las nuevas tendencias internacionales. Fue mentora de muchos jóvenes graduados que recién se iniciaban en la docencia y en la investigación. Sus consejos, su apoyo, su gran experiencia y conocimiento científico, que iba mucho más allá de la geografía, sirvieron de guía a varias generaciones de geógrafos, entre los que se encuentran muchos de los que hoy se destacan por el aporte científico y profesional, tanto en el país como en el exterior. En el año 2007, con sus 87 años lúcidos, regresó a la Universidad Nacional del Sur para festejar el 50° aniversario de la creación de la carrera de Geografía. El reencuentro con ex colegas y ex alumnos, algunos llegados desde lugares lejanos para asistir al evento, es recordado por todos como un momento de gran emoción y alegría. A su extensa trayectoria como docente e investigadora en universidades nacionales, como la de Buenos Aires, del Sur y de Luján, se suma su valioso aporte a la divulgación de la geografía. Participó en la elaboración de “La Argentina, suma de geografía”, la primera enciclopedia académica geográfica de importancia realizada en el país entre 1958 y 1963, que fue coordinada por Horacio Difrieri. Dirigió dos obras fundamentales de la geografía argentina: “El país de los argentinos” y el “Atlas total de la República Argentina”, en conjunto con Ricardo Figueira, ambas editadas por el Centro Editor de América Latina entre fines de los años setenta y principios de los ochenta. En estas dos producciones, realizadas con la participación de investigadores de distintas regiones del país, tuvieron la oportunidad de colaborar varios jóvenes geógrafos que en años posteriores desempeñaron un rol importante en la consolidación de la geografía en distintos ámbitos universitarios. En un artículo escrito en el año 1962 para la Revista de la UBA (RUBA), dirigida entonces por José Luis Romero, afirmaba que a la universidad “compete la formación de investigadores y profesionales aptos para desempeñar con probidad las funciones que la sociedad reclama”. Fiel a lo expresado, no escatimó esfuerzos para lograr la profesionalización de la geografía y de la promoción del geógrafo como especialista capaz de cumplir un rol en el ámbito público y privado. Su participación en los años sesenta de los primeros equipos de planificación territorial de la Patagonia, su desempeño como asesora del Ministerio de Obras Públicas de la Nación en los años ochenta, después del regreso de la democracia, así como las consultorías profesionales realizadas para distintos organismos del Estado, son algunos ejemplos de su actuación profesional. Así, dedicándose tempranamente a la consultoría geográfica, difícil en una época en que este ámbito era muy restringido y de dominio exclusivamente masculino, abrió el camino a las jóvenes generaciones que la siguieron. Su activa y destacada participación en tan diversos ámbitos, la hicieron merecedora del título de Doctora Honoris Causa de la Universidad Nacional de Luján (1994) y de la Universidad Nacional de Comahue (2003) y su incorporación a la Academia Nacional de Geografía. Hace pocos días, el Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva de la Nación la nominó ganadora del Premio “Rebeca Gerschman 2010”, en el área de Ciencias Sociales. Este lauro se entrega por primera vez a las investigadoras mujeres mayores de 60 años, junto con los Premios “Houssay” y “Houssay Trayectoria”, “por sus contribuciones a la producción de nuevos conocimientos, el impacto social y productivo de las innovaciones tecnológicas y la formación de recursos humanos”. Un reconocimiento tardío pero ampliamente merecido, que nos debe llenar de satisfacción y orgullo a todos los geógrafos. Además de sus sesenta años de extensa y fértil trayectoria profesional, recordaremos a Elena por su ejemplo de vida, su inagotable capacidad de trabajo que la mantuvo activa más allá de los 90 años, su constante búsqueda de nuevas líneas y posibilidades de investigación para los geógrafos, su gran personalidad marcada por un temperamento fuerte, muy exigente a veces, pero muy, muy humana, en quien siempre fue posible encontrar un consejo, un gesto de cariño, de aliento, cuando se lo necesitaba… Esperamos que su legado intelectual y moral sea el faro que ilumine el camino de las nuevas generaciones.

[Silvia B. GRIPPO. “Dra. Profesora Elena Margarita Chiozza. Una pérdida irreparable para la geografía argentina…”, in Revista Universitaria de Geografía (Bahía Blanca), vol.XIX, nº 1, 2010, pp. 13-14]

➻ Evgeniĭ A. Kosminskiĭ [1886-1959]

kosminskyEvgueni Kosminski (1886-1959), medievalista formado antes de 1917, publicó sus primeras obras en los años treinta. Dedicó la mayor parte de su actividad de historiador al estudio de las formas y de la evolución de la renta feudal en Inglaterra del siglo XIII al XIV. Véase, por ejemplo, un artículo de 1955, “L’évolution des formes de la rente féodale en Angleterre du XIe au XVe siècles”, en Féodalisme, un número monográfico de Recherches Internationales à la Lumière du Marxisme, nº 37, 1963, pp. 67-92 [Cf. la versión española: “La evolución de las formas de la renta feudal en Inglaterra de los siglos XI a XV. ¿Se puede considerar los siglos XIV y XV como una época de decadencia de la economía?”. Buenos Aires: Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Departamento de Historia, Cátedra de Historia moderna, Estudios monográficos nº 2, 1973]. En él intentó mostrar que ni el desarrollo del uso de la moneda ni las fluctuaciones demográficas podían servir de indicios directos de la evolución social, a la que no es posible acercarse más que por un estudio minucioso de los caracteres de las diversas explotaciones rurales y de las formas de exacción del plustrabajo por los señores; a partir de ahí el problema fundamental resultó ser el de la relación entre el desarrollo de la división del trabajo y el papel del mercado, y el mantenimiento, al precio de algunos arreglos, de las estructuras feudales de la dominación señorial. Se comprende fácilmente de qué modo una visión global de ese tipo permite integrar los análisis económicos al estudio de los procesos históricos sin caer en absoluto, sin embargo, en el economicismo vulgar que muchos imaginan ser la base del marxismo. El problema fundamental que Kosminski plantea se parece bastante al que en los años 1950 plantearon los marxistas ingleses. En la URSS varios historiadores más, como Serguei Skazkin o Viktor Rutenburg colaboraron también en ese programa.

[Alain GUERREAU. El feudalismo. Un horizonte teórico. Barcelona: Crítica, 1984, p. 97]

NOTA BENE. E. A. Kosminsky se graduó en la Facultad de Historia y Filología de la Universidad de Moscú (1910). Fue profesor en la Universidad Estatal de Moscú, el ICP y trabajó en el Instituto de Historia de la URSS. En 1942, fue ganador del Premio Stalin [Academia Rusa de Ciencias]. De acuerdo con lo señalado por Antoon de Baets en Censorship of Historical Thought. A World Guide, 1945-2000 (2002), Kosminsky “fue criticado por sus ‘errores cosmopolitas’ y por su ‘materialismo económico’ y acusado de denigrar la importancia de los rusos y los eslavos en la historia europea. De tal modo, fue despedido de su cátedra de historia medieval en la Universidad de Moscú en la que se desempeñó entre 1934 y 1949. En 1950, hizo una autocrítica y revisó su libros de historia medieval. Con todo, en 1952, fue destituido de la sección de Historia medieval de la Academia de Ciencia de la URSS, lugar que ocupaba desde 1936”.

✍ El moderno sistema mundial (IV). El triunfo del liberalismo centrista, 1789–1914 [2011]

svm10264_gEn 1974, Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein dio inicio a la que sería una extensa producción relativa al análisis historiográfico de la modernidad capitalista. Con la publicación del primer volumen de lo que tituló El moderno sistema mundial, la tendencia de interpretación que postula el inicio de la modernidad en el largo siglo XVI se posicionó a distancia de aquellas tendencias historicistas que por método señalaron que el tiempo cronológico, el hecho objetivo y la centralización narrativa en la participación de personajes singulares como motor de los cambios históricos fundaban el método historiográfico. En ese tenor, la obra El moderno sistema mundial. El triunfo del liberalismo centrista, 1789-1914, cuarto volumen del total de la obra publicada hasta la fecha, insiste en lo contrario: en la necesidad de mirar a la historia como un conjunto de múltiples determinaciones que, si bien tienen su máxima expresión en momentos específicos, hechos concretos y con participación de personas identificables como aquellas en las que se conjugan valores, posiciones y anhelos de un colectivo extenso, eso no hace que la historiografía deba centrar su atención en tales coyunturas, sino que debe deshebrarlas para identificar las particularidades en que las transformaciones sociales realmente operan para estar en condiciones de consolidarse. Por eso, el autor inicia este cuarto volumen con la afirmación de que para el largo siglo XIX la geocultura –que entendemos como los valores muy ampliamente compartidos por todo el sistema-mundo, tanto explícita como latentemente (p. 383)– es nada menos que la impronta de mayor profundidad desde la cual la modernidad capitalista ha conseguido un estatus de hegemonía frente al contexto de pluriculturalidad realmente existente. El liberalismo centrista como ideología expresa la ontología desde la cual se mira al mundo en la época aún presente. Tal ideología es la metaestrategia política en que se sustenta la economíamundo capitalista. Sin ésta, una sociedad dividida en clases sociales, géneros y razas, fundada en la generación de plusvalor y con la arena política como medio de acción ciudadana, no tendría sentido alguno. Éste es el primer legado geocultural, como lo denomina Wallerstein (p. 21) en la presentación de la obra. En este primer legado geocultural se inscriben las posturas de conservadurismo, liberalismo y socialismo, posiciones desde las que se acciona la ciudadanía y de las que emanan, respectivamente, una serie de posturas que obedecen a una multiplicidad de variables que muestran vertientes homogéneas o contradictorias en el interior de cada una; más aún, son portadoras de coincidencias y afinidades entre las tres, por ser las mismas producto de la ideología liberal. Más que producto de la ideología liberal, ya que ésta es el discurso justificatorio de una determinada realidad, son consecuencia del momento histórico referenciado, en el que la burguesía, implantada la gran industria y abiertos los causes del mercado mundial, conquista la hegemonía política y crea el Estado moderno –como indicarían Marx y Engels en su Manifiesto. La centralidad que coloca Wallerstein en países como Gran Bretaña, Francia, Alemania y Estados Unidos hace de su análisis y las fuentes consultadas un referente necesario para explicarnos cómo estos países, por medio de la narrativa que extienden al momento de consolidarse como Estados nacionales dominantes-colonizantes hacia las periferias; la reproducción de esa centralidad consiguió distintos grados de impacto ideológico y político al movilizar el eurocentrismo hacia Asia, África y América. Así, a partir de 1848 el liberalismo habría alcanzado la dirección política y cultural (hegemonía) del sistema-mundo y constituiría el núcleo de la geocultura (p. 43). El modelo del Estado liberal representa el segundo legado cultural que se consolidó entre los años 1815 y 1830, luego de la disputa iniciada por Gran Bretaña y Francia en 1651 para conseguir la dirección política paneuropea, con la pretensión de ampliarse en términos planetarios. En ese periodo la preocupación de los gobernantes de los Estados fuertes (centrales) se enfocó de dos maneras: primero, en afianzar su autoridad en tanto toma de decisiones en el interior de la nación, y segundo, en reforzar su poderío mundial para imponer su voluntad a los gobernantes de otros Estados nacionales y reducir con esto su posibilidad de participar en el consorcio de expansión planetaria. En este periodo conceptos como nación, pueblo, soberanía, ciudadanía, distinción entre reforma-gradualismo y revolución-radicalismo, gobierno directo (direct rule) y gobierno indirecto (indirect rule), legalidad-constitucionalismo y legitimidad- consensualismo son desde los que se presentará esa ideología liberal disfrazada de ciencia política, acompañados de principios filosóficos como los de librecambio, universalidad e individualismo. Como megaestrategia política, el liberalismo aprovechó el concepto de ciudadanía para hacer ver y hacer creer que la única vía de participación política para la sociedad, en el contexto de la expansión y consolidación de los Estados nacionales, era la electoral. Por lo mismo, la centralidad de la gran mayoría de los movimientos sociales en el siglo XIX se ubicó en la lucha electoral, esto es, en el ejercicio de la ciudadanía como derecho a votar y ser votado; el movimiento obrero, el feminista, el antiesclavista, el antirracista fueron participes en sus momentos y según sus intereses en la lucha electoral. Fue así como la ideología liberal posicionó al Estado nacional como un ente legalmente constituido y legítimamente reconocido por todos aquellos que propugnaron por verse representados en el mismo. Sin embargo, en oposición a este proceso de aceptación del Estado nacional se yergue la apropiación de los conceptos de soberanía y revolución: el primero como reivindicación de las naciones sujetas en el contexto del coloniaje, el segundo apropiado por el pueblo –los desposeídos–, diferenciándose entre las revoluciones de tipo constitucionalista, nacionalista o social, de las cuales esta última es impronta de la oleada revolucionaria de 1848 y la Comuna de París (1871). A partir de aquellas expresiones sociales del antagonismo de clase el concepto “revolución” condensó en sí temores y anhelos en la geocultura del moderno sistema mundial. Empero, sin lugar a dudas entre 1815 y 1848 la diferenciación que se instituyó como parte fundamental de las mentalidades modernas fue la de Occidente- Oriente. En términos políticos, la primera hace referencia al modelo constitucionalista basado en el liberalismo centrista como expresión del sistema democrático de gobierno; la segunda se refiere a los modelos definidos por Occidente como autocráticos, despóticos y dictatoriales. Dado este argumento, Occidente justificó el proceso colonial como proyecto liberador de pueblos sometidos a regímenes arcaicos o retrógradas, lo que trajo consigo que “Occidente” fuera también un concepto de orden cultural, al posicionar la dicotomía entre el orden civilizatorio y el de los pueblos “sin historia”. Aquí los principios de paz, orden y progreso fungieron como el pilar ideológico de la carrera por la industrialización como motor de la economía del mundo capitalista. El autor denomina aquel periodo como el de conformación del Estado liberal centrista –como aparato administrativo y de control en el conflicto de clases–, consolidado entre los años 1830 y 1875. Para ese periodo tal modelo de organización condujo la política pública bajo el asistencialismo a las clases dominadas, el proteccionismo a las empresas capitalistas y el establecimiento de los derechos políticos y civiles como ángulo de visión para la participación ciudadana. En aquel momento, indica Wallerstein, el concepto de ciudadano-individuo se reivindicó por la clase media-media alta sujeta a ese modelo de Estado, lo cual, más que como expresión o resultado de la guerra civil estadounidense, se tomó como impronta de la Revolución francesa, a la que Wallerstein define como revolución burguesa dado que ese hecho histórico permitió la consolidación de la geocultura liberal, no sin albergar en su seno una serie de contradicciones inherentes a su ser que llevaría al surgimiento de movimientos sociales antisistémicos continuados en el tiempo a lo largo y ancho del orbe. Y es esta geocultura la que durante la segunda mitad del siglo XIX y la mayoría del siglo XX se expresó en términos planetarios por medio de la ciencia social. Por todo aquello, no resulta extraño que los gobiernos liberal-centristas se allegaran de equipos de científicos sociales –economistas, politólogos, sociólogos, entre otros, denominados “comunidad de los aptos”– que atrajeron para sus investigaciones el método de análisis propio de las ciencias naturales –en oposición a la hermenéutica o métodos filosóficos– a fin de dar sustento a la reforma social que los gobiernos liberalcentristas ubicaron como necesaria en el combate al desgobierno, la barbarie y el atraso tecnológico de sectores de población rural y pueblos colonizados. El progreso, entendido como la marcha hacia una sociedad homogénea, el triunfo del ser humano sobre la naturaleza, de la razón sobre la creencia, se tomaría como el espíritu del cambio social para el cual la ciencia social, entendida como el instrumento del progreso, permitiera explicar las anomalías y patologías propias de la diversidad social en términos étnico-cultural o racial. Para que la ciencia social se consolidara como instrumento de esa geocultura, los gobiernos de los Estados centrales y la iniciativa privada debieron asignar el presupuesto suficiente para la creación de los discursos disciplinares que les informaran respecto a las distintas formas del ser social y sus anhelos para estar en condiciones de medirlos, caracterizarlos e integrarlos al modelo liberal de humanidad que se planteó. Así surgieron tantos discursos disciplinares como objetos de estudio posibles, entre los que se encuentra la antropología y sus distintas ramificaciones. Sin embargo, en esto no estuvo ausente el conflicto. Desde principios del siglo XIX aparecieron discursos sustantivos en oposición al discurso liberal centrista: de la economía política se desprendió la crítica a la economía política, hasta culminar en la definición actual que simplemente se presenta como economía; de la psicología y la psiquiatría surgió el psicoanálisis como un método opuesto; de la historia de la literatura, la historia cronologista, la historia empirista se distanció la teoría de la historia o la historiografía ideográfica; de la sociología nomotética se distanciaron las ciencias ideográficas, etcétera. Esto implicó una franca crítica a la naturaleza objetiva y a la neutralidad valorativa de las ciencias sociales decimonónicas. En este sentido, el pensamiento doctrinario centrista tomó a la economía para caracterizar y estudiar al mercado, la ciencia política para analizar al Estado y la sociología para explicar a la sociedad civil. Ésta fue la tríada en el estudio de la modernidad que se implantó desde los primeros colegios de Gran Bretaña, Francia, Alemania y Estados Unidos. Y desde aquella centralidad, así como de sus ciencias, se postuló la idea de identidad nacional como legitimadora de los Estados y para limitar marcadamente las lealtades alternas y potencialmente opuestas al proyecto uniformador de identidad (p. 337). De esta manera Wallerstein demuestra cómo “el gobierno en manos de los especialistas era un elemento clave del liberalismo centrista” (p. 357). Por lo mismo, el retrato construido desde el ángulo de visión centrista, que en gran medida fue despectivo en cuanto a las naciones no occidentales, y que dominó el mundo de la literatura decimonónica y del siglo xx, correspondía a la geocultura del sistema-mundo de ese periodo (p. 371). Éste es a grandes rasgos el contenido del volumen IV de El moderno sistema mundial, publicado en castellano para México y Argentina por la casa editorial Siglo XXI en este año.

[Víctor Hugo VILLANUEVA GUTIÉRREZ. “Immanuel Wallerstein, El moderno sistema mundial. El triunfo del liberalismo centrista, 1789-1914, vol. IV, México, Siglo XXI, 2014” (reseña), in Diario de Campo (México), nº 4-5, 2014, pp. 127-129]

51TBOeb9m6L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_For his earliest professional writing, Immanuel Wallerstein sent a letter to Joseph McCarthy posing as a devotee who hoped to circulate copies of the senator’s speeches. In truth, his devotion was to understanding the nature of conservatismin America: its origins, its character, and the emergence of what C. Wright Mills called practical conservatism. Now in his eightieth year, Wallerstein has returned to ideology in a fourth volume of his magnum opus. Two decades have passed since the last installment, in part due to the vast literature on the nineteenth century, but the wait has been worth while: not since the first volume has Wallerstein produced an installment so interesting. His subject is centrist liberalism, the geoculture of capitalism. The previous three volumes (published in 1974, 1980, and 1989) covered the origins, consolidation, and expansion of modern capitalism. When finished, Wallerstein intends to have written the history of the capitalist world-economy inits entirety. Originally outlined in four parts, he now plans, “if [he] can last out” (p. xvii), a fifth volume on the system’s final expansion (1873–1968/89) as well asa possible sixth (or seventh) volume on the end of capitalism (1945/68–2050). Readers might find this ambition ironic, but the structural crises of the capitalist world-economy are well in place. Their character can be described without having reached the system’s ultimate conclusion. To write the history of an era, the first question is always: what story should be told? Wallerstein addresses this question directly, since so many books about the nineteenth century focus on events like the formation of capitalism or Europe’s industrial revolutions. Wallerstein argues that the “key happening” was the installment of centrist liberalism as the geoculture of the world-system. It encompassed the dominant “ideas, values, and norms” that “constrained social action thereafter” (p. xvi). While the French Revolution taught the masses that sovereignty now resided with the people, the aristocracy responded with conservatism, which was an attempt to stall political change and conserve the rate of placement as a second choice to the outright repeal of popular sovereignty. The bourgeoisie responded with liberalism. They promoted sovereignty “managed prudently”, defined by its proponents as the proper speed of placement (p. 137). In practice, this meant that bourgeois interests would be represented without allowing the masses to gain control. By contrast, the workers responded with radicalism, which called for the immediate placement of sovereignty in the entire public. The story Wallerstein tells is a tragedy: centrist liberalism came to dominate early forms of conservatism and radicalism. Today, they exist only as derivations of the center, as a conservative liberalism and a radical liberalism. It is not, however, a story of bourgeois revolutions, since the notables (aristocratic and bourgeois classes) used liberal principles of inclusion and equality to maintain their advantage over the masses. Liberalism’s great advantage was that it appeared to be all things to all people. In this sense, the modern world-system is different than all previous historical systems, not in the presence of inequality (which has been a historical constant), but in that it is the first system in history to maintain inequality amidst a narrative of equality. In fact, the confusion over various liberalisms —economic, political, social behavioral (or, libertarian)— “has served liberal ideology well, enabling it to secure maximal support” (p. 5). Tested in Great Britain and France, the notables used liberalism to divide the lower class, forcing workers, women, and minority ethnicities to fight separately (and against one another) for inclusion. As Wallerstein tells it, liberalism, conservatism, and radicalism had some striking similarities. All used anti-state rhetoric even though they would require a strong state to advance their goals. All ideologies were essentially oppositional: conservatives opposed the French Revolution; liberals opposed conservatism; and radicals opposed liberalism. Each blamed its opponent for causing present problems and blocking resolutions. Each proclaimed itself as the solution. In addition, all three claimed the people were sovereign, yet disagreed on who the people were: the liberal subject was the individual; the conservative subject could be found in traditional groups like the church; and the radical subject was the whole of society. This uncertainty over state–society relations in part explains why the exact number of ideologies is unclear and how odd alliances occasionally occur (like the totalitarian combination of conservatism and socialism). The liberal state helped the ruling elite establish a structure that appeared to be popular in orientation but was in fact hostile to the interests of the masses. With Napoleon, foresighted conservatives began to see liberalism’s strategic potential. Since they could no longer ignore popular claims to sovereignty, a move to the center was in their interests. Liberalism over time came to embody the beliefs not only of the bourgeois merchant but the “enlightened conservative” as well (p. 92). Wallerstein’s frontispiece, a 1914 photograph of Emmeline Pankhurst’s arrest in London, represents how the notables benefitted from the divisions they struck within the masses. In fact, each of the eight images placed throughout the book reveals a different aspect of citizenship, ranging from the revolutions of 1848, the localization of political debate, and the place of workers, women, and Blacks in society. They show the centrality of citizenship in The Modern World-System IV.With the norm of sovereignty, it became necessary for the notables to distinguish between the types of people over which they ruled “Too many persons were citizens. The results could be dangerous indeed. The story of the nineteenth century (and indeed of the twentieth) was that some (those with privilege and advantage) continually attempted to define citizenship narrowly and that all the others responded by seeking to validate a broader definition”.(pp. 144–145). In his most convincing section, Wallerstein shows how the notables created two categories of citizens, active and passive, the former representing those who contribute to the formation of society and policy and the latter identifying those who should not participate because of their supposedly reduced intellectual capacity. By creating binary distinctions, workers, women, and Blacks were pitted against one another, effectively ensuring that citizenship would only be a “partial liberation” (p. 147). Notions of citizenship taught liberals that they were closer to conservatives than they had previously believed, and that they must better justify denying active citizenship for the masses. Conservatives realized the usefulness of liberalism, making some concessions for the sake of self-preservation. This bourgeois-aristocratic alliance was guaranteed by the common fear of the potential, yet forever unrealized, dominating power of the masses. Soon, liberalism embodied the “moderate status quo” (p. 49). Its supremacy was solidified in the events of 1848, which liberals won by repressing radicals. Radicals, in turn, learned that they must be organized. But they too moved to the center, finding the liberal “lure of the reward of citizenship too strong”, and becoming less radical over time (p. 173). Liberals ensured worker commitment by further sub-dividing their ranks, distinguishing by race and sex. “Once again, inclusion was being achieved by exclusion” (p. 182). The women’s movement mirrors the experiences of all passive citizens. Divided by the notables along class and ethnic lines, passive citizens often worked against one another. Male workers at times blocked parts of the women’s movement. Aristocratic women resented women of lower classes for their expulsion from property ownership: “in the more egalitarian mood of the French Revolution, all women were treated equally—all having no rights whatsoever” (p. 152). And some activists, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, supported anti-abolitionist male candidates who backed women’s suffrage. Against the common perception of liberalism as the free market and rights-maximizing state, Wallerstein depicts the post-1850 liberal-imperial state as one of limitations on dangerous masses: it created a strong market, but a market defended via colonialism and free trade imperialism, even as its leaders theoretically opposed “infringement on human freedom” (p.126). For Wallerstein,underlying all nineteenth century liberal-imperial states was a “commitment to intelligent reform by the state that would simultaneously advance economic growth (or rather the accumulation of capital) and tame dangerous classes (by incorporating them in to the citizenry and offering a part, albeit a small part, of the imperial economic pie)” (p. 137). The result of separation and co-option was racism —a belief in racial superiority that permeated not only society, but the academy too. Consequently, centrist liberalism’s dominance was legitimated by the emerging social sciences, which appeared to embrace value-free scholarship, but remained committed to the values of liberalism. Wallerstein writes that in the nineteenth century, moral, political, and ideological statements could be couched as independent, scientific, truth. For it was now “urgent to understand what generated normal change in order… to limit the impact of popular preferences” (p. 220). The increasingly empirical field of history created national biographies of the liberal state that served as a foundation for patriotism. Three other disciplines took on the present, helping liberal states to head-off anti-liberalism from the masses: economics, for the market; sociology, for civil society; and political science, for the state. In the name of value neutrality, the new social sciences renounced both radicalism and conservatism. Yet their belief in prosperity through science ultimately served the liberal center. Despite totaling nearly 300 pages of text, Wallerstein’s narrative occasionally leaves the reader wanting more, especially in his insightful opening chapter on the modern origins of ideology. Still, the preface nicely summarizes previous volumes for readers unfamiliar with his history of capitalism. It is also worth noting that, despite writing a book about ideological combat, Wallerstein draws on an impressive bibliography that includes ideological opponents. His history of how centrist liberalism befriended the disadvantaged for the sake of the powerful is well-substantiated. It is a work of rigorous social science. And yet its passion is not lost.

[Gregory P. WILLIAMS. “Book Review”, in New Political Science, vol. XXXIV, nº 3, 2012, pp. 428-431]

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