This is a broad and ambitious study of the entire history of humanity which takes as its point of departure Marx's theory of social evolution. However, Professor Diakonoff's theory of world history differs from Marx's in a number of ways. Firstly he has expanded Marx's five stages of development to eight. Secondly he denies that social evolution necessarily implies progress and shows how 'each progress is simultaneously a regress', and thirdly he demonstrates that the transition from one stage to another is not necessarily marked by social conflict and that sometimes this is achieved peacefully and gracefully. As the book moves through these various stages, the reader is drawn into a remarkable and thought-provoking study of the process of the history of the human race which focuses on the wide range of factors (economic, social, military-technological, and socio-pyschological) which have influenced our development from palaeolithic times to the present day.