Civilization: The West and the Rest

Front Cover
Penguin, Nov 1, 2011 - History - 432 pages
2 Reviews
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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This was an interesting work. There is merit in considering the rise of the West as based on six "killer apps": competition, science, the rule of law, medicine, markets, and the work ethic. Where I disagree with Ferguson is when he attempts to craft a narrative of decline based on the rise of China and Islamic influence in global affairs. Globalism is not a zero-sum game! 

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

NIALL FERGUSON is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, and a Senior Research Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the bestselling author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, and High Financier. He also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bibliographic information