Tim's Reviews > The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution

The Origins of Political Order by Francis Fukuyama
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Jul 24, 12


In my opinion, this is one of the most important works of political science in the 21st century. In this first volume, Fukuyama attempts (and largely succeeds) to present a broad history of many of the world's greatest civilizations, taking a comparative approach across time and geography. While often glossing over the finer details of each culture, he nonetheless establishes a strong foundation for volume two, which he has said will propose a theoretical framework for understanding how societies develop politically.

Fukuyama presupposes at least some understanding of political philosophy and history on the part of the reader, so the book can be intimidating and a bit confusing at first glance. And in trying to address such a huge topic, he by necessity cannot address every contrast between his subject societies, and this leaves him open to criticism as being too general. But if you have any interest in the big questions of "how we got here," this book is a must-read. I eagerly await volume two.
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