In this monumental book, the distinguished philosopher of history, I. Robert Sinai, has ranged over the whole panorama of human history to uncover the laws governing the rise and decline of societies. The Human Drama: Necessity and Chance is a masterful work of synthesis and at the same time it is most definitely a Sinai book. To understand the human drama, it is necessary to comprehend the nature of man. Basing himself mainly on the work of Freud, Sinai shows man as impelled by unlimited desires, catastrophically flawed in his biological and psychological makeup, limited in his capacities, an eternal battleground between contradictory urges and condemned to that final death which persistently gnaws at his daily existence. What is true of man is also true of all societies. Although Sinai, together with some other thinkers, views society as a system, i.e., as bound together by a network of causal relationships and subject to inherent limitations, decline and breakdown, he has contributed something original to this conception.For him, the most crucial variable in the formation of every social system is not the economic, or the ideological variable, but the political one with all its disastrous effects.