In this monumental book, Chris Harman achieves the impossible – a gripping history of the planet from the perspective of the struggling people throughout the ages. From earliest human society to the Holy Roman Empire, from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment, from the Industrial Revolution to the end of the millennium, Chris Harman provides a brilliant and comprehensive history of the planet. Eschewing the standard histories of “Great Men,” of dates and kings, Harman offers a groundbreaking counter-history, a breathtaking sweep across the centuries in the tradition of “history from below.” In a fiery narrative, he shows how ordinary men and women were involved in creating and changing society and how conflict between classes was often at the core of these changes. While many pundits see the victory of capitalism as now safely secured, Harman explains the rise and fall of societies and civilizations throughout the ages and demonstrates that history never ends. This magisterial study is essential reading for anyone interested in how society has changed and developed and the possibilities for further radical change.