Cambridge University Press:
This is a broad and ambitious study of the entire history of humanity that takes as its point of departure Marx's theory of social evolution. Professor Diakonoff's theory of world history differs from Marx's in a number of ways. First, he has expanded Marx's five stages of development to eight. Second, he denies that social evolution necessarily implies progress and shows how "each progress is simultaneously a regress," and third, 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 that focuses on the wide range of factors (economic, social, military-technological, and socio-pyschological) that have influenced our development from palaeolithic times to the present day.
Foreword Geoffrey Hosking; Author’s preface; Introduction; 1. First phase (primitive); 2. Second phase (primitive communal); 3. Third phase (early antiquity); 4. Fourth phase (imperial antiquity); 5. Fifth phase (the Middle Ages); 6. The sixth phase (the stable absolutist post-medieval phase); 7. Seventh phase (capitalist); 8. Eighth phase (post-capitalist).