Acclaimed political theorist Francis Fukuyama contends that primitive tribal cultures developed political systems in response to societal needs: adaptive systems persisted longest, eventually becoming institutions from which our modern nation states evolved. In this first of two volumes, superbly chosen examples of state formation (including China, India, and Middle-Eastern regions) affirm the global scope of The Origins of Political Order
. Readers interested in history's big sociopolitical questions (think Machiavelli's The Prince
) will find big answers here, drawn from modern studies in anthropology, macroeconomics, legal history, and related specialties.