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Civilization : The West and the Rest
by Niall Ferguson and Niall Ferguson


Overview - The rise to global predominance of Western civilization is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five hundred years. All over the world, an astonishing proportion of people now work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours.  Read more...

 
Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged
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More About Civilization by Niall Ferguson; Niall Ferguson
 
 
 
Overview
The rise to global predominance of Western civilization is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five hundred years. All over the world, an astonishing proportion of people now work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed unlikely to achieve much more than perpetual internecine warfare. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? In Civilization: The West and the Rest, bestselling author Niall Ferguson argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, consumerism, modern medicine, and the work ethic. These were the "killer applications" that allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest, opening global trade routes, exploiting newly discovered scientific laws, evolving a system of representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the Industrial Revolution, and embracing a dynamic work ethic. Civilization shows just how fewer than a dozen Western empires came to control more than half of humanity and four fifths of the world economy. Yet now, Ferguson argues, the days of Western predominance are numbered-not because of clashes with rival civilizations, but simply because the Rest have now downloaded the six killer apps we once monopolized-while the West has literally lost faith in itself. Civilization does more than tell the gripping story of the West's slow rise and sudden demise; it also explains world history with verve, clarity, and wit. Controversial but cogent and compelling, Civilization is Ferguson at his very best.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781400114993
  • ISBN-10: 1400114993
  • Publisher: Tantor Media Inc
  • Publish Date: November 2011
  • Dimensions: 5.54 x 6.47 x 1.22 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.63 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > Civilization
Books > History > World - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-01-30
  • Reviewer: Staff

Niall Ferguson delivers an intriguing and possibly controversial exploration of the nature of modern civilization: who achieved power in the past, who is achieving it today, and what the future may hold. Charting the West’s rise to power from the 15th century to the 20th century, Ferguson draws upon the past to describe how the “rest” of the world is catching up. With a crisp English accent and a keen ability to utilize vocal emphasis and pauses, Ferguson proves an excellent narrator for his book. His past work in television and radio clearly influences his reading, the tone of which recalls many a news report. But Ferguson infuses his narration with flair, attitude, enthusiasm, and energy—all of which will keeps listeners engaged, even those who aren’t history or social science fans. A Penguin hardcover. (Nov.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews