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Early reviewers describe this magisterial study as a "hominids-to-guillotines chronicle of humanity's attempts to build strong, accountable governments", "nothing less than a unified theory of state formation," and "that rare work of history with up-to-the-minute relevance." Noted scholar and political theorist Francis Fukuyama (The End of History; Falling Behind) utilizes a flexible comparative approach to describe the transformation of tribal societies into organized governments. With meticulous erudition, he describes the outgrowth of states in China, India, the Middle East, and Europe and explains how the governed struggled to wrest reforms from wealthy elites. The Origins of Political Order is certain to receive major review attention.