Studien von Zeitfragen

Andre Gunder Frank


From: Pat Manning, World History Network


Andre Gunder Frank died peacefully at 8:30 a.m. on April 23, 2005 in Luxembourg, in the presence of his loved ones, after a long and brave struggle against cancer and its complications. He was a brilliant and highly productive analyst of political economy and related social sciences who produced fundamental insights on global social interactions, from the 1950s until his death, and whose analysis was always connected to campaigns for social justice. He was a founding figure in the current expansion of studies in world history, and his 1998 book, ReOrient, won the World History Association's book prize.

He is survived by his wife, Alison Candela, who gave him loving and essential care in his last years, by his sons Paul and Miguel Frank, and by their families. His remains will be cremated at a small ceremony on April 26, and his ashes will be placed next to the remains of his first wife, Marta Fuentes, in Amsterdam. He was born in Germany in 1929, spent his formative years in Switzerland, and moved to the United States in 1941. He did his undergraduate studies at Swarthmore College and his doctoral work in economics at the University of Chicago, in 1957. In 1962 he moved to Latin America, soon married Marta Fuentes, and worked with her in studies of political economy and social justice; they and their children escaped Chile at the time of the Pinochet coup in 1973. Thereafter he worked in Europe, including over ten years at the University of Amsterdam. From 1994 he lived and worked in the U.S.; he and Alison Candela met in Florida in 2000 and later married in Boston in 2003.

He had already gained wide attention for his economic analyses when his 1966 article in Monthly Review, "The Development of Underdevelopment," coined an essential phrase and an interactive historical analysis of dependency in economic growth. In the course of 34 books, 350 articles, and 130 book chapters (with numerous translations in 25 languages), his analysis of world affairs evolved steadily, always ahead of the current consensus. His biography and publication list is online:

While his work had world-historical implications from the first , it was in his last fifteen years that it became explicitly world-historical, in The World System: Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand? (co-edited with Barry Gills, 1993); The Centrality of Central Asia (1992); and ReOrient: Asian Economy in the Global Age (1998). At his death, he was near to completing a sequel to ReOrient, a volume on the fundamental changes of the world economy in the nineteenth century. It is expected that his colleagues will prepare this work for publication.

Gunder Frank was an extraordinary individual, able to sustain an immense international network of friends and associates, and able to carry on an energetic campaign of original and critical scholarship though he never gained strong institutional support for his work. He was blunt in academic debate, brilliant in his linkage of history and theory, extraordinary as a phrasemaker, and warm and caring to a fault in his personal relations. All those who knew him will have specific memories of his contribution to their lives. For myself, I want to express gratitude for his friendship and advice, and for his decade of association with the World History Center and his contribution to the studies of a dozen doctoral students in world history at Northeastern.

It is expected that one or several memorial gatherings will be held, in the months to come, to celebrate his life and work and to honor his passing.

Notes of condolence may be sent to members of his family:

Alison's e-mail address is:
Miguel's e-mail:
Miguel's phone number is +352 091 656 236
Paul's e-mail: