Why the West Rules--for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Macmillan, Oct 12, 2010 - History - 768 pages
29 Reviews
A New York Times Notable Book for 2011

Sometime around 1750, English entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal, and the world was forever changed. The emergence of factories, railroads, and gunboats propelled the West’s rise to power in the nineteenth century, and the development of computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth century secured its global supremacy. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, many worry that the emerging economic power of China and India spells the end of the West as a superpower. In order to understand this possibility, we need to look back in time. Why has the West dominated the globe for the past two hundred years, and will its power last?

Describing the patterns of human history, the archaeologist and historian Ian Morris offers surprising new answers to both questions. It is not, he reveals, differences of race or culture, or even the strivings of great individuals, that explain Western dominance. It is the effects of geography on the everyday efforts of ordinary people as they deal with crises of resources, disease, migration, and climate. As geography and human ingenuity continue to interact, the world will change in astonishing ways, transforming Western rule in the process.

Deeply researched and brilliantly argued, Why the West Rules—for Now spans fifty thousand years of history and offers fresh insights on nearly every page. The book brings together the latest findings across disciplines—from ancient history to neuroscience—not only to explain why the West came to rule the world but also to predict what the future will bring in the next hundred years.


  

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Review: Why the West Rules—for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future

User Review  - Birte - Goodreads

I love history, though not a historian. This book makes you think (as all good books should). Ian Morris takes us on a fascinating journey, from the dawn of time till today and beyond. The book is ... Read full review

Review: Why the West Rules--for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future

User Review  - Brendan - Goodreads

Ought to be called "The History of the World". Had a good time reading this although it is a fairly meaty book. Gives a good overview of how we've gotten from 15,000BCE to where we are today and ... Read full review

All 5 reviews »

Contents

Introduction
3
Part I
37
Before East and West
39
The West Takes the Lead
81
Taking the Measure of the Past
135
Part II
173
The East Catches Up
175
Neck and Neck
227
The Western Age
490
Part III
555
Why the West Rules
557
For Now
582
On Social Development
623
Notes
647
Further Reading
663
Bibliography
679

Decline and Fall
280
The Eastern Age
331
Going Global
384
The West Catches Up
434
Acknowledgments
725
Index
727
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

IAN MORRIS is Willard Professor of Classics and History at Stanford University. He has published ten scholarly books, including, most recently, The Dynamics of Ancient Empires, and has directed excavations in Greece and Italy. He lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California.

Bibliographic information