Though this book leans on political philosophy, economics, and history, it leans on each lightly enough to remain accessible to the educated general reader, for whom it is mainly intended. Its central theme—how state and society interact to disappoint and render each other miserable—may concern a rather wide public among both governors and governed. Most of the arguments are straightforward enough not to require for their exposition the rigour and the technical apparatus that only academic audiences can be expected to endure, let alone to enjoy.... [From the Preface]