"In my view, this book describes the way the world works better than most others. It explores the intersection of two of the most complex and instrumental disciplines: history and human behavior, and gives us an elegant model to understand life and human progress. The framework that it proposes elucidates our views of the past and present, and offers a plausible, yet hopeful, trajectory for the future of human society. While only indirectly related to my research interests, this book has influenced my research efforts more than most others. And this influence perhaps extends to how I understand and lead my life as well. Ever since I read it, about a dozen years ago, I have been an enthusiastic proponent of this text."