This is the third volume of Immanuel Wallerstein's essays to appear in Studies in Modern Capitalism, following the immensely successful collections The Politics of the World Economy and The Capitalist World Economy. Written between 1982 and 1989, the essays in this volume offer Wallerstein's perspective on the events of the period, and the background to his interpretation of the momentous events of 1989. Wallerstein argues that the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the process of perestroika bear out his basic analysis: that the decline of U.S. hegemony in the world-system is the central explanatory variable of change; and that the collapse of the communist empire and the approach of European unity cannot be understood without reference to this decline as a critical stage in the cyclical rhythm of the capitalist world economy. As part of the analysis the book also charts the development of a challenge to the dominant "geoculture": the cultural framework within which the world-system operates. This collection offers the latest ideas of one of the most original and controversial thinkers of recent years, and is bound to stimulate debate among students and scholars across the social sciences.