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The Pristine Culture of Capitalism: A Historical Essay on Old Regimes and Modern States
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The Pristine Culture of Capitalism: A Historical Essay on Old Regimes and Modern States

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  30 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Capitalism was born in England, yet the dominant Western conceptions of modernity have come from elsewhere, notably from France, the historical model of “bourgeois” society. In this lively and wide-ranging book, Ellen Meiksins Wood argues that what is supposed to have epitomized bourgeois modernity, especially the emergence of a “modern” state and political culture in Cont ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published December 17th 1991 by Verso (first published January 1st 1991)
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Malcolm
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wood explores one of the great paradoxes of European history – the birth of capitalism in England and modernity in mainland Europe – to challenge the idea of the capitalist state as pure and new to argue that it retains large elements of pre-capitalist social relations. This is an analysis that has profound implications for our understanding of contemporary politics and activism.

One of Wood's real strengths is her ability to get beyond the narrow disciplinary conventions of contemporary scholars
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Wood was born Ellen Meiksins one year after her parents, Latvian Jews active in the Bund, arrived in New York from Europe as political refugees. She was raised in the United States and Europe.
Wood received a B.A. in Slavic languages from the University of California, Berkeley in 1962 and subsequently entered the graduate program in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, fr
...more
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