Book cover of Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors by Adrian Goldsworthy
Ancient Civilizations

Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors

This definitive biography of one of history’s most influential father-son duos tells the story of two rulers who gripped the world — and their rise and fall from power.

Alexander the Great’s conquests staggered the world. He led his army across thousands of miles, overthrowing the greatest empires of his time and building a new one in their place. He claimed to be the son of a god, but he was actually the son of Philip II of Macedon. […Learn More]

Book Cover of The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty First Century by Walter Scheidel

The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century

Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes.

Tracing the global history of inequality from the Stone Age to today, Walter Scheidel shows that it never dies peacefully. The Great Leveler is the first book to chart the crucial role of violent shocks in reducing inequality over the full sweep of human history around the world. The “Four Horsemen” of leveling―mass-mobilization warfare, transformative revolutions, state collapse, and catastrophic plagues―have repeatedly destroyed the fortunes of the rich. […Learn More]

Ancient Civilizations

1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed

A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the “Sea Peoples” invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. […Learn More]