I highly recommend this book to anyone involved with public administration, civil service, or for anyone seeking a little context as to why our systems operate the way they do; for better or worse. My planning education emphasized more planning and city design, so this book has been helpful in providing background knowledge into public administration, political science, and history. Despite its page count, it is a quick and easy read. The chapters are laid out in a very concise way and the author provides clear guides to the arguments and points being made in each section. It’s a fascinating book that illustrates the various factors that influence the way states form and modernize.