+: great outline of how political order and decay come into being
+: worldwide scope, not centered on Europe
+: Fukuyama is a brilliant thinker who can articulate his ideas well
-: writing is mediocre and this is especially so because there are far too many details in this volume. What Fukuyama covers in two or three chapters could be reduced to just one without losing essential information
-: overload of information sometimes makes it hard to keep attention span going
I rather liked some of the explanations about political systems, the idea that a state of anarchy would produce something like a third world country and not a well-funcioning utopia. I also liked the sections dealing with the history of political systems in Asia, which was new to me.
Near the top, for its informed analysis.
It contextualizes our present political problems
Its harmony to the narrative.
The breadth of states covered. I like that Fukuyama took a world view and introduced the reader to states that many American readers might not know much about (that is, non-western states). The scope of the examination let the reader see the various ways that states can and do develop and allowed for a fuller discussion of the subject matter.
I think he did a solid job narrating this book. I enjoy his work more in the fictional universe (more room for performance), but his tone and pace were appropriate for a serious, non-fiction work.
A really fascinating and detailed political history, comparing various states and discussing the environments that gave rise to them (cultural, religious, geographic, etc.). The book was not an "easy" read and it took a while to get through. But there is a lot of food for thought here and the author is very reasonable and clear in putting forth his ideas and inviting the reader to evaluate the information. I come away with a fuller understanding of various political apparatus. I also leave with a sharper vantage point on the US system and why it is so difficult (if not impossible) to export our way of doing things elsewhere, especially when we do not understand how our own system came into being and what preconditions are necessary for various aspects of it to take root and thrive. In the end, it makes one realize that there are a number of different permutations a stable state can take, even though their foundations (rule of law, a strong central state, and accountability) are likely the same. It is also interesting to realize that all states are built up on the remains of what came before, without a truly "clean sweep" of the past. Meaning when state building, you have to consider what came before and build accordingly. I look forward to (eventually) tackling the second volume (which will bring political history to the present day, and look at what causes the decay of political systems).
Good naration. Very enlightening content . Put together well so the information was a pleasure to absorb rather than a burden to understand. Good job all around!
The narrator actually takes on the tone of the author and has a good voice. The material is quite unique and it teaches history alongside politics and basic economics. Now for the second book...
An educator and senior who listens to his books from his phone through his hearing aids.
The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolutionby Francis Fukuyama is the best book that I have read on political history. The author reaches into the pre-historical times to show how relationships among humans were shaped by economics, family, religion, and charisma. His juxtaposing of the Magna Carta in England with the similar document, Golden Bull of Poland illustrates how constitutional solutions are not all effective. I heartily recommend this look at how man has tried to live together.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
Consider the sweep of world history from the perspective of governmental structure. This book is useful to gain an understanding of our modern world by looking at the development of the various strategies employed by the ancients. I now have a better understanding of how China can have a tradition of central government going back thousands of years and still not have any sense of ethics in their leadership. I now know how Russia seems to have difficulty implementing Western-style democracy when all they have ever known is authoritarianism. Of course, for it to fully sink in I will have to listen to it a second time; but first I may tackle volume two. This book is structured much like a series of scholarly lectures. Narrated by the always excellent Jonathan Davis.
One have to have some philosophical inclinations to like this book.
The main philosphical question which is being brought up in this book:
Are the founding principles of social order. Why humans are willing to give up some of their freedoms for security and order of society.
Also if humans are naturally good behaved if not restrained by law and order or not.
There is no one definite answer to this question.
The analysis of different types of social order was interesting but sometimes it seems that detailed historical references brought little value or point to the book.