From the bestselling author of The Ascent of Money and The Square and the Tower Western civilization’s rise to global dominance is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five centuries. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? Acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson argues that beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts, or “killer applications”—competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic—that the Rest lacked, allowing it to surge past all other competitors. Yet now, Ferguson shows how the Rest have downloaded the killer apps the West once monopolized, while the West has literally lost faith in itself. Chronicling the rise and fall of empires alongside clashes (and fusions) of civilizations, Civilization: The West and the Rest recasts world history with force and wit. Boldly argued and teeming with memorable characters, this is Ferguson at his very best.
A history of Western civilization's rise to global dominance offers insight into the development of such concepts as competition, modern medicine, and the work ethic, arguing that Western dominance is being lost to cultures who are more productively utilizing Western techniques.
In 1412, Europe was a miserable backwater, while the Orient was home to dazzling civilizations. So how did the West come to dominate the Rest? In this vital, brilliant book, Niall Ferguson reveals the six 'killer applications' that did it: Competition How Europe's small, piratical states built modern capitalism Science How innovation gave the West the military edge Property Rights How the laws of private property built the United States Medicine How colonialism transformed the world's health The Consumer Society How shopping made the Industrial Revolution The Work Ethic How western religious ideas brought it all together Do we still have these winning tools, he asks? Or is another power about to triumph? 'Brilliantly written, full of wit and virtuosity, stuffed with memorable lines and gorgeous bits of information. A great read.' The Times 'A dazzling history of Western ideas . . . epic.' Economist 'Vivid and fascinating.' Daily Telegraph 'Superb . . . brings history alive . . . dazzling.' Independent 'This is sharp. It feels urgent. Ferguson . . . twists his knife with great literary brio.' Andrew Marr
The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power
Author: Niall Ferguson
Publisher: Basic Books
The British Empire was the largest in all history: the nearest thing to world domination ever achieved. By the eve of World War II, around a quarter of the world's land surface was under some form of British rule. Yet for today's generation, the British Empire seems a Victorian irrelevance. The time is ripe for a reappraisal, and in Empire, Niall Ferguson boldly recasts the British Empire as one of the world's greatest modernizing forces.An important new work of synthesis and revision, Empire argues that the world we know today is in large measure the product of Britain's Age of Empire. The spread of capitalism, the communications revolution, the notion of humanitarianism, and the institutions of parliamentary democracy-all these can be traced back to the extraordinary expansion of Britain's economy, population, and culture from the seventeenth century until the mid-twentieth. On a vast and vividly colored canvas, Empire shows how the British Empire acted as midwife to modernity.Displaying the originality and rigor that have made him the brightest light among British historians, Ferguson shows that the story of the Empire is pregnant with lessons for today-in particular for the United States as it stands on the brink of a new era of imperial power, based once again on economic and military supremacy. A dazzling tour de force, Empire is a remarkable reappraisal of the prizes and pitfalls of global empire.
An intellectual history of the key institutions that organized knowledge in the Western World offers insight into primary cultural transformations that took place from the classical period to the present.
A lively analysis of the Arab Gulf states’ stunning rise to global power over the last half-century and of the daunting challenges they confront today Once just sleepy desert sheikdoms, the Arab Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait now exert unprecedented influence on international affairs—the result of their almost unimaginable riches in oil and gas. In this book, Rory Miller, an expert in Gulf politics and international affairs, provides an accessible account of the achievements of these countries since the 1973 global oil crisis. He also investigates how the shrewd Arab Gulf rulers who have overcome crisis after crisis meet the external and internal challenges of the onrushing future. The Arab Gulf region has become an East–West hub for travel, tourism, sport, culture, trade, and finance. But can the autocratic regimes maintain stability at home and influence abroad as they deal with the demands of social and democratic reform? Miller considers an array of factors—Islamism, terrorism, the Arab Spring, volatile oil prices, global power dynamics, and others—to assess the future possibilities.
Presents a controversial history of violence which argues that today's world is the most peaceful time in human existence, drawing on psychological insights into intrinsic values that are causing people to condemn violence as an acceptable measure.
A richly original look at the origins of money and how it makes the world go round Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of our financial system, from its genesis in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. What's more, Ferguson reveals financial history as the essential backstory behind all history, arguing that the evolution of credit and debt was as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilization. As Ferguson traces the crisis from ancient Egypt's Memphis to today's Chongqing, he offers bold and compelling new insights into the rise--and fall--of not just money but Western power as well.
How Social Development Decides the Fate of Nations
Author: Ian Morris
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Category: Social Science
In the last thirty years, there have been fierce debates over how civilizations develop and why the West became so powerful. The Measure of Civilization presents a brand-new way of investigating these questions and provides new tools for assessing the long-term growth of societies. Using a groundbreaking numerical index of social development that compares societies in different times and places, award-winning author Ian Morris sets forth a sweeping examination of Eastern and Western development across 15,000 years since the end of the last ice age. He offers surprising conclusions about when and why the West came to dominate the world and fresh perspectives for thinking about the twenty-first century. Adapting the United Nations' approach for measuring human development, Morris's index breaks social development into four traits--energy capture per capita, organization, information technology, and war-making capacity--and he uses archaeological, historical, and current government data to quantify patterns. Morris reveals that for 90 percent of the time since the last ice age, the world's most advanced region has been at the western end of Eurasia, but contrary to what many historians once believed, there were roughly 1,200 years--from about 550 to 1750 CE--when an East Asian region was more advanced. Only in the late eighteenth century CE, when northwest Europeans tapped into the energy trapped in fossil fuels, did the West leap ahead. Resolving some of the biggest debates in global history, The Measure of Civilization puts forth innovative tools for determining past, present, and future economic and social trends.
This near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from Cixin Liu, China's most beloved science fiction author. In The Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion-in just four centuries' time. The aliens' human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike. Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown. Luo Ji, an unambitious Chinese astronomer and sociologist, is baffled by his new status. All he knows is that he's the one Wallfacer that Trisolaris wants dead. The Remembrance of Earth's Past Trilogy The Three-Body Problem The Dark Forest Death's End Other Books Ball Lightning (forthcoming) At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Can Western civilization stop its decline? The West gave the World the light bulb, the internal combustion engine and much more that vastly improved the life on earth. But lately, the West is tired, hopeless, and dying. Author Shivaji Lokam says Western countries have been in a self-destruction mode for the past hundred years: first the two World Wars, then the Cold War, now the Experts-driven utopian pursuit of Open Borders and Multiculturalism. The unaccountable experts have been wrong more times than anybody can count. They were wrong on financial crisis, bailouts, stagnant wages, higher taxes, brexit, trump, global trade deals. The experts failed because they were part of the problem. This incredible book tells the story of why they get it wrong every time and their pivotal role in causing the irreversible Western decline. In The fall of Western Civilization you will learn: • How Classical Liberalism caused World Wars, Great Depression, Socialism, Fascism, Cold War, and Decolonization • Why Modern Liberalism wants nothing short of the full destruction of the West and its values • Why the West is becoming less free • How America and Europe’s destruction were long sown in the novel ideas that came out of the European Enlightenment two hundred years ago • Why the elites in the West are utterly clueless and how their fancy education never contributed anything positive • What were the ultimate causes of the 2008 Financial Crisis that crippled the western economies Based on extensive research and fresh understanding of economics, Author Shivaji Lokam weaves through the forces of industry, technology, human nature, religion, and nation-state, to tell how and why the West is collapsing. Original and fresh, The fall of Western Civilization is essential reading to understand why Liberalism has been the greatest hoax ever played on the West.
"[A] magnificent history of money and finance."--New York Times Book Review “Convincingly makes the case that finance is a change-maker of change-makers.”--Financial Times In the aftermath of recent financial crises, it's easy to see finance as a wrecking ball: something that destroys fortunes and jobs, and undermines governments and banks. In Money Changes Everything, leading financial historian William Goetzmann argues the exact opposite—that the development of finance has made the growth of civilizations possible. Goetzmann explains that finance is a time machine, a technology that allows us to move value forward and backward through time; and that this innovation has changed the very way we think about and plan for the future. He shows how finance was present at key moments in history: driving the invention of writing in ancient Mesopotamia, spurring the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome to become great empires, determining the rise and fall of dynasties in imperial China, and underwriting the trade expeditions that led Europeans to the New World. He also demonstrates how the apparatus we associate with a modern economy—stock markets, lines of credit, complex financial products, and international trade—were repeatedly developed, forgotten, and reinvented over the course of human history. Exploring the critical role of finance over the millennia, and around the world, Goetzmann details how wondrous financial technologies and institutions—money, bonds, banks, corporations, and more—have helped urban centers to expand and cultures to flourish. And it's not done reshaping our lives, as Goetzmann considers the challenges we face in the future, such as how to use the power of finance to care for an aging and expanding population. Money Changes Everything presents a fascinating look into the way that finance has steered the course of history.
“You have to…play by the rules so you can get to the top and change things.” -- Sheryl Sandberg A landmark portrait of women, men, and power in a transformed world Men have been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But Hanna Rosin was the first to notice that this long-held truth is, astonishingly, no longer true. At this unprecedented moment, by almost every measure, women are no longer gaining on men: They have pulled decisively ahead. And “the end of men”—the title of Rosin’s Atlantic cover story on the subject—has entered the lexicon as dramatically as Betty Friedan’s “feminine mystique,” Simone de Beauvoir’s “second sex,” Susan Faludi’s “backlash,” and Naomi Wolf’s “beauty myth” once did. In this landmark book, Rosin reveals how this new state of affairs is radically shifting the power dynamics between men and women at every level of society, with profound implications for marriage, sex, children, work, and more. With wide-ranging curiosity and insight unhampered by assumptions or ideology, Rosin shows how the radically different ways men and women today earn, learn, spend, couple up—even kill—has turned the big picture upside down. And in The End of Men she helps us see how, regardless of gender, we can adapt to the new reality and channel it for a better future.
Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
Author: S. C. Gwynne
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, centering on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all. S.C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon spans two astonishing stories. The first traces the rise and fall of the Comanches, the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. The second entails one of the most remarkable narratives ever to come out of the Old West: the epic saga of the pioneer woman Cynthia Ann Parker and her mixed-blood son Quanah, who became the last and greatest chief of the Comanches. Although readers may be more familiar with the tribal names Apache and Sioux, it was in fact the legendary fighting ability of the Comanches that determined just how and when the American West opened up. Comanche boys became adept bareback riders by age six; full Comanche braves were considered the best horsemen who ever rode. They were so masterful at war and so skillful with their arrows and lances that they stopped the northern drive of colonial Spain from Mexico and halted the French expansion westward from Louisiana. White settlers arriving in Texas from the eastern United States were surprised to find the frontier being rolled backward by Comanches incensed by the invasion of their tribal lands. So effective were the Comanches that they forced the creation of the Texas Rangers and account for the advent of the new weapon specifically designed to fight them: the six-gun. The war with the Comanches lasted four decades, in effect holding up the development of the new American nation. Gwynne’s exhilarating account delivers a sweeping narrative that encompasses Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, the destruction of the buffalo herds, and the arrival of the railroads—a historical feast for anyone interested in how the United States came into being. Against this backdrop Gwynne presents the compelling drama of Cynthia Ann Parker, a lovely nine-year-old girl with cornflower-blue eyes who was kidnapped by Comanches from the far Texas frontier in 1836. She grew to love her captors and became infamous as the "White Squaw" who refused to return until her tragic capture by Texas Rangers in 1860. More famous still was her son Quanah, a warrior who was never defeated and whose guerrilla wars in the Texas Panhandle made him a legend. S. C. Gwynne’s account of these events is meticulously researched, intellectually provocative, and, above all, thrillingly told. Empire of the Summer Moon announces him as a major new writer of American history.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The creator of the award-winning podcast series The History of Rome and Revolutions brings to life the bloody battles, political machinations, and human drama that set the stage for the fall of the Roman Republic. The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. Beginning as a small city-state in central Italy, Rome gradually expanded into a wider world filled with petty tyrants, barbarian chieftains, and despotic kings. Through the centuries, Rome's model of cooperative and participatory government remained remarkably durable and unmatched in the history of the ancient world. In 146 BC, Rome finally emerged as the strongest power in the Mediterranean. But the very success of the Republic proved to be its undoing. The republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome now ruled: rising economic inequality disrupted traditional ways of life, endemic social and ethnic prejudice led to clashes over citizenship and voting rights, and rampant corruption and ruthless ambition sparked violent political clashes that cracked the once indestructible foundations of the Republic. Chronicling the years 146-78 BC, The Storm Before the Storm dives headlong into the first generation to face this treacherous new political environment. Abandoning the ancient principles of their forbearers, men like Marius, Sulla, and the Gracchi brothers set dangerous new precedents that would start the Republic on the road to destruction and provide a stark warning about what can happen to a civilization that has lost its way.
From the bestselling author of Lawrence in Arabia, a piercing account of how the contemporary Arab world came to be riven by catastrophe since the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq. In 2011, a series of anti-government uprisings shook the Middle East and North Africa in what would become known as the Arab Spring. Few could predict that these convulsions, initially hailed in the West as a triumph of democracy, would give way to brutal civil war, the terrors of the Islamic State, and a global refugee crisis. But, as New York Times bestselling author Scott Anderson shows, the seeds of catastrophe had been sown long before. In this gripping account, Anderson examines the myriad complex causes of the region’s profound unraveling, tracing the ideological conflicts of the present to their origins in the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003 and beyond. From this investigation emerges a rare view into a land in upheaval through the eyes of six individuals—the matriarch of a dissident Egyptian family; a Libyan Air Force cadet with divided loyalties; a Kurdish physician from a prominent warrior clan; a Syrian university student caught in civil war; an Iraqi activist for women’s rights; and an Iraqi day laborer-turned-ISIS fighter. A probing and insightful work of reportage, Fractured Lands offers a penetrating portrait of the contemporary Arab world and brings the stunning realities of an unprecedented geopolitical tragedy into crystalline focus.