Simply stunning, a clear-eyed, convention-defying overview of human history. If you were to give an alien a single book to understand the large-scale building blocks of history, this would be an excellent choice. Comparing favourably with Yuval Noah Harari's blockbuster Sapiens due to its meticulous referencing, this is a book on - really - economic history that I simply could not put down. If I could make this review physically glow, I would. I loved this book that much.