The Military Factor in Social Change: Volume 2, The State as Revolution

Hardback
In this book, Henry Barbera interweaves social and political history with military matters in recounting the stories of state building and centralization in ancient Attika, medieval Sicily, and modern Prussia. His mastery of the material together with his eye for detecting similar responses to such intrusive events as wars, great migrations, natural disasters, explorations, foreign ideas, and exceptional persons makes for compelling reading. Tracing the responses to such events in a kinship society, a feudal society, and a Stand (estate) society, the author suggests 'natural' foundations for the consolidation of power, the imposition of law, the mobilization of mass sentiment, and the extension of individual rights in the great transition from provincial to political society.The State as Revolution is a fluent account of the rise of political society. Its conceptual framework reveals an encyclopedic grasp of detail without losing sight of the larger picture. It demonstrates that the basic properties and dynamics of political society are bound by neither time, space, nor cultural background. His analysis concludes that equalizing social conditions and human freedom are functions of state centralization and the homogenization of society and that these, in turn, are the adaptive responses to certain intrusive events.Barbera's presentation of data in conjunction with his finding that the same social patterns occur in different societies under similar conditions would make this a fascinating text, even without the theoretical speculations at which he is also adept. Students of history, jurisprudence, mass communication, political science, and sociology will find this book indispensable. Along with volume 1, From Provincial to Political Society, it offers a landmark reconsideration of fundamental theory in political, military, and social history. There are few students who will not learn from it.