"...this study offers two major scholarly contributions. First, the state is regarded as "merely one of the forms" the organization of government has assumed; therefore it is not eternal. Second, Van Creveld points out that development and spread of new institutions--"abstract organizations" in the author's words--since a quarter of century ago have started to take over some of the state functions..." X. Hu, Social and Behavioral Sciences
"Martin Van Creveld provides an insightful history of the state and the most lucid analysis to date of the contemporary challenges it faces...This is an important book." Peter Schwartz, Whole Earth
"This is a book which many more should read than will, such as anyone teaching 'Western Civilization' or 'Modern Europe', anyone interested in intellectual history, or anyone simply interested in the political condition of the modern world." Richard A. Oehling, H-Net Reviews
"'The Rise and Decline of the State'--a tight display of erudition counterpointed by occasional heavy-handed attempts at humor--makes the case." Washington Times
"Van Creveld's latest study is an important and wide-ranging scholarly work, in addition to being both beautifully written and a thoroughly engaging reading. It is crucial reading not only for students of military and political history, but also for those of Western utopian literature, since it clearly highlights throughout the links between fact and fiction. Besides its value to academics, this expansive and interesting review of the evolution of the nation-state worthwhile and enjoyable reading for anyone with an interest in political science and history." UTOPIAN STUDIES
"This study is not only brilliant history; it is insightful and brimming with scores of fascinating and plausible hypotheses..." The Journal of Interdisciplinary History
The state, which since the middle of the seventeenth century has been the most important of all modern institutions, is in decline. From Western Europe to Africa, many existing states are either combining into larger communities or falling apart. In the future, Martin van Creveld argues, their functions are likely to be taken over by other organizations. This unique volume traces the history of the state from its beginnings to the present day. It will be invaluable to all who would understand the history of government, and its future.