The forces that shape our history are always contentious, yet our fascination with what drives the actions of the human race is inexhaustible. In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond proposed one set of forces; Willie Thompson, in Work, Sex, and Power, suggests another trio. Deploying decades of experience as a historian, Thompson re-establishes a materialist narrative of the entire span of human history, drawing on a vast range of contemporary research. Thompson discusses and explains the foundations of social structures and themes that have recurred throughout the phases of global history in the interaction between humans and their environment. From communities of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers to the machine-civilization of recent centuries, Thompson takes us on a journey through the latest thinking in regard to long-term historical development.