Fernand Braudel (1902-1985) was a French historian and the leader of the Annales School of historiography, which was founded by Lucien Febvre and Marc Bloch, and later included Georges Duby, Pierre Chanu, Jacques LeGoff, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Jacques Revel, Philippe Ariès, and Roger Chartrtier, among others.
Braudel's work was focused on three main projects: The Mediterranean (1923–49, then 1949–66), Civilization and Capitalism (1955–79), and the unfinished Identity of France (1970–85). His reputation stems in part from his writings, but even more from his success in making the Annales School the most important engine of historical research in France, and indeed in much of the world after 1950. Braudel emphasized the role of large-scale socioeconomic factors in the making and writing of history, and brought about a change of focus in the analysis of history from individuals or events to world systems.
Deleuze's references to Braudel frequently revolve around the question of why capitalism arose in Europe that than, say, in early modern China.