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Civilization Niall Ferguson

Civilization By Niall Ferguson

Civilization by Niall Ferguson


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Summary

If in the year 1411 you had been able to circumnavigate the globe, you would have been most impressed by the dazzling civilizations of the Orient. The Forbidden City was under construction in Ming Beijing; in the Near East, the Ottomans were closing in on Constantinople.

Civilization Summary

Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

If in the year 1411 you had been able to circumnavigate the globe, you would have been most impressed by the dazzling civilizations of the Orient. The Forbidden City was under construction in Ming Beijing; in the Near East, the Ottomans were closing in on Constantinople.

By contrast, England would have struck you as a miserable backwater ravaged by plague, bad sanitation and incessant war. The other quarrelsome kingdoms of Western Europe - Aragon, Castile, France, Portugal and Scotland - would have seemed little better. As for fifteenth-century North America, it was an anarchic wilderness compared with the realms of the Aztecs and Incas. The idea that the West would come to dominate the Rest for most of the next half millennium would have struck you as wildly fanciful. And yet it happened.

What was it about the civilization of Western Europe that allowed it to trump the outwardly superior empires of the Orient? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues, was that the West developed six "killer applications" that the Rest lacked: competition, science, democracy, medicine, consumerism and the work ethic. The key question today is whether or not the West has lost its monopoly on these six things. If so, Ferguson warns, we may be living through the end of Western ascendancy.

Civilization takes readers on their own extraordinary journey around the world - from the Grand Canal at Nanjing to the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul; from Machu Picchu in the Andes to Shark Island, Namibia; from the proud towers of Prague to the secret churches of Wenzhou. It is the story of sailboats, missiles, land deeds, vaccines, blue jeans and Chinese Bibles. It is the defining narrative of modern world history.

Civilization Reviews

Ferguson is the most brilliant British historian of his generation ... he writes with splendid panache * The Times *
One of the world's leading historians -- Hamish McRae * Independent *
[Praise for The Ascent of Money] Beautifully written... Breathtakingly clever -- Martin Van Weyer * Sunday Telegraph *
[Praise for The Ascent of Money] The tales he tells of boom and bust, of triumph and disaster, of bubbles that inflate... are the very essence of financial history -- Bill Emmott * Financial Times *
[Praise for The Ascent of Money] An often enlightening and enjoyable tour through the underside of great events, a lesson in how the most successful great powers have always been underpinned by smart money -- Robert Skidelsky * New York Review of Books *

About Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, and a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing. He is the author of fifteen books, including The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild, Empire, Civilization and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His many other prizes include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013). He writes a weekly column for the Sunday Times, for which he was named Columnist of the Year at the 2018 British Press Awards.

Additional information

GOR003510708
9781846144561
1846144566
Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson
Used - Good
Paperback
Penguin Books Ltd
2011-03-03
432
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - Civilization