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A new reading of western history argues that human interconnections achieved global proportions for the first time 500 years ago, producing three waves of destabilizing globalization. The first wave, post-1500, devastated America and contributed to European wars and revolutions. In the nineteenth century, the rush to monopolize wealth and power escalated into rivalries between classes, nations, empires. After 1945, a new global social architecture with transnational capital as its main factor threatens world stability.