Reviews of Macrosociology: Four Modern Theorists



“Frank W. Elwell argues that sociology has lost its way by focusing on micro-level issues and research methods, as opposed to the macro sociology of the founders. The book seeks to show the relevance of the founding macro-images by tracing their appearance in the works of more recent scholars: C. Wright Mills, Marvin Harris, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Gerhard Lenski. One need not accept the author’s premise to enjoy this book; the relevance of macro-level issues is as dependent on the micro- experiences and individual biographical exigencies for their relevance, as on having a grand narrative with which to work.”


                                                                                        --Anthony J. Blasi, Tennessee State University,


“There are only a small handful of books for students on macrosociology, but Frank Elwell’s can happily be added to the list. Elwell’s book is a short version of a longer one he apparently plans to write and covers four macrosociological theorists: C. Wright Mills, Marvin Harris, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Gerhard Lenski. Each gets one chapter, and there is a short concluding chapter in which the author compares and contrasts all four thinkers, mainly with respect to their analyses of the rise of capitalism… Elwell’s coverage of each theorist is accurate and thorough. He has a very good command of the major works of all four, and presents their ideas in clear, accessible, and unpretentious prose. There is almost none of the distortion, selective treatment, or outright misunderstandings and misrepresentations that one too often finds in the literature.”


                                                           --Stephen K. Sanderson, University of California, Riverside