Francis Fukuyama is one of those authors for whom "all of history" is a challenge. Rather than shy away from delving too far into the past, he has taken it upon himself to explain the origins of our political world and its institutions by looking at the whole of human history.
'Origins of Political Order' is broad, and it is sweeping. From pre-human times to the French Revolution, stopping on the way in early China, India, Turkey, and England. The amazing thing is that the book doesn't lose its thread, and teaching us about these early civilisations, continues to get across its point: that the state, the rule of law, and accountability are the key elements in the formation of the modern state.
Certain areas are more gripping than others (obviously depending on where one's interests lie); personally, the chapters on China interested me a lot more than, say, the Ottomans - the overview of Chinese bureaucratic was fascinating, and very well argued. And while I don't agree with all the conclusions being drawn, I cannot deny the fantastic skill of the writing.
Whether you agree with him or not, this book is a fantastic one to read. It's brilliantly written, and the scope is simply astounding. If you have any interest in politics, or are even slightly curious as to how the institutions we know today came about, then this is definitely one to read. My copy will be well thumbed and well referenced before too long!