It would not have been impertinent for Quigley to title his book 'An Economic History of the World', for that is essentially what he has written. As a college teacher (presumably of history), he says he believes in training ""executives, not clerks""; instructing students in the difference between simple factual knowledge -- memory -- and understanding. To open the eyes of his readers to what he feels are the obsolescence of terminology and periodic division now utilized in history and other social sciences, Quigley -- using Toynbec as a springboard but nothing more -- has developed six more or less original analytical principles for dealing with his subject. He believes that a society is the only comprehensible unit through which history can be understood. Fundamentally his approach concerns itself with parasitic vs. producing societies, municipal and state mercantilism vs. laissez faire capitalism, hard vs. soft money, and other economic realities. His reflections on the struggle between instruments (in the philosophical sense) and institutions within a society are as articulate as a semanticist could wish. Though his style tends to be ever so slightly pedagogic, and he may be accused in some circles of hairsplitting, his re-assessment of certain long-venerated methods is extremely and by no means impractical.