By S. E. Finer
No one has hitherto had the breadth of imagination and intellectual boldness to describe and analyse government throughout recorded history and throughout the world. This unique study of government is the culmination of the work of the late S. E. Finer, one of the leading political scientists of the twentieth century. Ranging over 5,000 years, from the Sumerian city state to the modern European nation state, five themes emerge: state-building, military formats, belief systems, social stratification, and timespan. The three volumes examine both representative and exceptional polities, and focus on political elites of different types. Empires, Monarchies, and the Modern State (Books Four and Five) opens with Tokugawa Japan and thence reviews the evidence of Ch'ing, Ottoman, and Mughal Empires, before turning to facets of the re-creation, `modernization', and transplantation of the European state model. It concludes with the synoptic review of `Pathways to the Modern State'. Professor Finer's cogent descriptive analysis offers both an invaluable reference resource and an exhilarating journey across time and space.