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Civilization
Civilization: The West and the Rest | Niall Ferguson
5 posts | 6 read | 9 to read
Western civilizations rise to global dominance is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five centuries. All over the world, more and more people study at Western-style universities, work for Western-style companies, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and play Western sports. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed like miserable backwaters, ravaged by incessant war and pestilence. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? In Civilization: The West and the Rest, acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic. These were the killer applications that allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest; opening global trade routes, exploiting new scientific knowledge, evolving representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the industrial revolution, and hugely increasing human productivity. Civilization shows exactly how a dozen Western empires came to control three-fifths of mankind and four-fifths of the world economy. Yet now, Ferguson argues, the days of Western predominance are numbered because the Rest have finally downloaded the six killer apps the West once monopolized while the West has literally lost faith in itself. Chronicling the rise and fall of empires alongside the clashes of civilizations, Civilization recasts world history with verve and wit. Boldly argued but also teeming with memorable characters, this is Ferguson at his very best.
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veritysalter
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#NamasteNovember and my first attempt at #SpinePoetry The Angry Island, Cold Wild Nights Good Houses Built of Stone. At Home, Civilization. (I raided the travel and my husband‘s business books for this one.)

Eggs Nicely done!! 3mo
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Villo
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Very good book and nice to read. #2014

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Eugeniavb
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Without a doubt one of the best history books I have ever read. In such a short book, Ferguson manages to explain how the West has dominated the world for the last few centuries and how we might be coming to the end of that period. He narrows it down to competition, science, property rights, medicine, the consumer society and the work ethic. And compares these attributes with other cultures that didn‘t end up keeping up. Fantastic. #historyread

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Eugeniavb
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“When Kenneth Clark defined civilization in his television series of that name, he left viewers in no doubt that he meant the civilization of the West - and primarily the art and architecture of Western Europe from the Middle Ages until the nineteenth century. The first of the thirteen films he made for the BBC was politely but firmly dismissive of Byzantine Ravenna, the Celtic Hebrides, Viking Norway and even Charlemagne‘s Aachen.” #firstlines

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aftabaabro

Very excellent book.

RaimeyGallant Welcome to Litsy! #LitsyWelcomeWagon Some of us put together Litsy tips to help new Littens navigate the site. It's the link in my bio on my page in case you're interested. :) 2y
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