Volume II: The Intermediate Ages
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.
The first volume, Ancient Monarchies and Empires opens with Finers masterly Conceptual Prologue, setting out the entire scope and structure of The History. He goes on to consider early examples of the predominantly palace type of polity, notably in respect of the the Kingdoms of Egypt and the Empires of Assyria, Persia, Han China, and Rome; in