In this short, highly readable book Immanuel Wallerstein provides a condensation of the central ideas of his monumental study of capitalism as an integrated, historical entity: The Modern World-System. In developing an anatomy of capitalism over the past five centuries, Wallerstein traces those elements that have constantly changed and evolved, while giving equal attention to features of historical capitalism that have necessarily remained constant. Particular attention is focused on the emergence and development of a unified world market, and the concomitant international division of labour. Wallerstein argues forcefully, against the current of much contemporary opinion, that capitalism has brought about an actual, not merely relative, immiseration in the countries of the Third World. The economic and social problems of underdeveloped countries will remain unresolved as long as they remain located within a framework of world capitalism.