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Power & Greed : A Short History Of The World

by Philippe Gigantes.

This is an interesting book by an interesting man,

https://cd.pbsstatic.com/xl/37/5537/9781841195537.jpg

someone who has served in the Royal Navy and the Canadian Senate and government,

someone who has been a reporter for the Observer.

This purposefully short book is not a history per se

but a study of power,

an attempt ‘to explain why history happened as it did …

to highlight powerful,

often extravagant,

men and women who marked their times and ours’.

It conforms to the view that the history is the story of great men or rather,

that our world is the result of certain individuals whose thoughts and actions have proved decisive.

The first part deals with specific individuals:

Moses,

Solon,

Plato,

the Buddha,

Mohammed

and Jesus.

The second,

longer part,

is concerned with

‘those who insist on breaking or circumventing society’s rules … the grand acquisitors’.

This part covers the great epochs in history :

the decline of the Roman Empire,

the Crusades,

the Reformation,

the French Revolution,

the twentieth century’s world wars

and so on.

All these events were the results of actions by ‘the grand acquisitors

[ who ]

in their need for freedom to achieve their desires,

wage war on society’s need for order’.

In other words,

the lust for power is the deciding theme in man’s history.

This is not so much a layman’s history of the world

as a layman’s thoughts on the nature of history.

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