Anderson situates the absolutist states of the early modern epoch against the background of feudalism, both in Eastern and Western Europe.
"The breadth of reading, the acuteness of Anderson's social insight, the subtlety and power of his writing at its best, and, above all, the consistency of his overall intellectual control of the project are enormously impressive." - The Listener "The breath-taking range of conception and the architectural skill with which it has been executed make his work a formidable intellectual achievement." - New York Review of Books "A Marxist masterpiece, which should be in every single library in order to 'end the night of our ignorance' on the many themes which Anderson discusses." - Books and Bookmen "A dazzlingly provocative narrative of the two millennia between Pericles and Louis XIV" - Books of the Year, Sunday Times "What an intellectual pleasure it has been to read these texts. Anderson has a real ability for illuminating and succinct generalisation." - Times Higher Educational Supplement