The Sources of Social Power: Volume 1, A History of Power from the Beginning to AD 1760

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 30, 1986 - Social Science - 560 pages
This is the first part of a three-volume work on the nature of power in human societies. In it, Michael Mann identifies the four principal 'sources' of power as being control over economic, ideological, military, and political resources. He examines the interrelations between these in a narrative history of power from Neolithic times, through ancient Near Eastern civilisations, the classical Mediterranean age, and medieval Europe, up to just before the Industrial Revolution in England. Rejecting the conventional monolithic concept of a 'society', Dr. Mann's model is instead one of a series of overlapping, intersecting power networks. He makes this model operational by focusing on the logistics of power - how the flow of information, manpower, and goods is controlled over social and geographical space-thereby clarifying many of the 'great debates' in sociological theory. The present volume offers explanations of the emergence of the state and social stratification.
 

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User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

This is an impressive work for the ages, no doubt about that. The author presents a meticulous sociological analysis of power, where ancient agrarian civilizations (with a particular focus on ... Read full review

Contents

Preface page
1
peoples evaded power
34
poweractor civilization in Mesopotamia
73
states and multipoweractor civilizations
105
compulsory cooperation
130
power networks
179
poweractor civilizations
190
Assyria and Persia
231
the Christian ecumene
301
11
341
I The intensive phase
373
II The rise of coordinating states
416
III International capitalism
450
explaining European dynamism
500
Patterns of worldhistorical development in agrarian
518
Index
543

The Roman territorial empire
250

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