In Coercion, Capital and European States, Charles Tilly takes on a twofold challenge: to understand why European states reached the same destination of “national state” form via distinctly different paths, and to validate his anti-narrative, “mechanistic” methodology for the social sciences. The wide scope of the book, both in terms of its thousand year span and its examination of numerous European countries, regions and colonies, provides a synthesized but detailed analysis, and substantial contribution toward understanding the European historical process. In the context of the intellectual tradition of which Tilly was a part, the work provides an alternate account of the dynamics of modernization, perceiving deeply historic roots that unintentionally led to current international power dynamics between states, as well as current citizen relationships to states. The work also stands as “a proposal of how to move ‘beyond the cultural turn,’” as well as a critique of the “big case comparisons” method of historical sociology (Norkus, 2007: 165). The book provides a challenge to understandings of what satisfies the requirements for sociological knowledge, proposing the detailed study of historical phenomenon coupled with a sociological stance that resists the creation of narrative links at the expense of accuracy. In this memo, I want to argue that in spite of the enormous contribution of the book, Tilly fails to satisfy his own objective of elucidating the “why” of European state formation, due to his failure to perceive the interconnectedness of narrative, time, memory, and thus, history. Ironically, although Tilly perceives the embeddedness of story in our social world, even calling for a study of the sociology of story, he does not perceive the futility of attempting to remove narrative, and its subjectivity from his analysis.