This is a fabulous book. It begins with early concepts from ancient Greece, lays out the fundamental differences between "natural law" and "the law of the real world," then extends the history of legalistic ideas through the Roman epoc, middle ages, etc. The book identifies the bases of difference between the legal systems of the west and those of communist states, e.g., common law and code law vs. Marxist law. It fully describes the influence of Christianity on western legal thinking. There are "plots" and "sub-plots" in this book that are absolutely fascinating. Finally, it is deliciously written; for those who truely appreciate the english language.