Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity
Ancient Civilizations

Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity

The gripping story of how the end of the Roman Empire was the beginning of the modern world

The fall of the Roman Empire has long been considered one of the greatest disasters in history. But in this groundbreaking book, Walter Scheidel argues that Rome’s dramatic collapse was actually the best thing that ever happened, clearing the path for Europe’s economic rise and the creation of the modern age. […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
History

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]