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Capitalism: A Short History


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Table of Contents

Preface to the English Edition vii 1. What Does Capitalism Mean? 1 The Emergence of a Controversial Concept 1 Three Classics: Marx, Weber, and Schumpeter 7 Other Voices and a Working Definition 16 2. Merchant Capitalism 25 China and Arabia 26 Europe: Dynamic Latecomer 35 Interim Findings around 1500 49 3. Expansion 54 Business and Violence: Colonialism and World Trade 54 Joint-Stock Company and Finance Capitalism 58 Plantation Economy and Slavery 65 Agrarian Capitalism, Mining, and Proto-Industrialization 70 Capitalism, Culture, and Enlightenment: Adam Smith in Context 84 4. The Capitalist Era 95 The Contours of Industrialization and Globalization since 1800 96 From Ownership to Managerial Capitalism 104 Financialization 114 Work in Capitalism 124 Market and State 145 5. Analysis and Critique 162 Notes 171 Bibliography 181 Index of Names 197

About the Author

Jurgen Kocka is a permanent fellow at Humboldt University of Berlin and former president of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. In 2011, he received the Holberg Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the scholarly world.


One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2016 "'Capitalism' is a commonly used term that resists simple definition or straightforward history. Kocka adds lucidity and erudition in this excellent overview... [B]road in its intellectual sweep, covering a range of social science disciplines; and well informed by the literature in both economic and social history... [Capitalism] provides a paradigm of what a short history of an important concept should accomplish."--Choice "Jurgen Kocka is one of the most well known experts in the field of European History and like his previous books this compact book has all of his virtues: it's extremely clear and conceptually tight as well as very succinct."--Stephen Darori, Israel Book Review "A brief and lively overview which is likely to attract a wide readership... Entertaining and informative, it will prove useful and reassuring to many who are troubled by the onset of the capitalist crisis in 2008 but who are still wedded to the system."--Henry Heller, Labour-Le Travail

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