Why The West Rules - For Now: The Patterns of History and what they reveal about the Future

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Profile Books, Nov 4, 2010 - History - 608 pages
6 Reviews

Why did British boats shoot their way up the Yangzi in 1842, rather than Chinese ones up the Thames? Why do Easterners use English more than Europeans speak in Mandarin or Japanese? To put it bluntly, why does the West rule? There are two schools of thought: the 'Long-Term Lock In' theory, suggesting some sort of inevitability, and the 'Short-Term Accident' theory. But both approaches have misunderstood the shape of history.

Ian Morris presents a startling new theory. He explains with flair and authority why the paths of development differed in the East and West and - analysing a vicious twist in trajectories just ahead of us - predicts when the West's lead will come to an end.

'Here you have three books wrapped into one: an exciting novel that happens to be true; an entertaining but thorough historical account of everything important that happened to any important people in the last 10 millennia; and an educated guess about what will happen in the future. Read, learn, and enjoy!' Jared Diamond

'A great work of synthesis and argument, drawing together an awesome range of materials and authorities to bring us a fresh, sharp reading of East-West relationships.' Andrew Marr

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LynnCar - LibraryThing

This is the best overview of world history that I have read. It ties different aspects of development together and makes sense of most aspects of the world. I particularly liked the economic connection and the future discussions of current trends. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jcbrunner - LibraryThing

Ian Morris has written a highly pleasurable comparative history of China and the West that highlights the similarities and parallelism of the human development at both edges of the Eurasian continent ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
PART I
37
PART II
173
PART III
555
On Social Development
623
Notes
647
Further Reading
663
Bibliography
679
Acknowledgments
725
Index
727
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Born and educated in Britain, Ian Morris is Willard Professor of Classics, Professor of History and a fellow of the Archaeology Centre at Stanford University. He has written and edited a number of academic books, most recently The Greeks and The Ancient Economy and has appeared on a number of television networks, including the History Network and PBS. This is his first trade book.

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