Why the West Rules - For Now Patterns of History and What They Reveal About the Future
Why does the West rule? Eminent Stanford polymath Ian Morris answers this provocative question, drawing uniquely on 15,000 years of history and archaeology, and the methods of social science. In the middle of the eighteenth century, British entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal and the world changed forever. Factories, railways and gunboats then propelled the West's rise to power, and computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth century secured its global supremacy. Today, however, many worry that the emergence of China and India spell the end of the West as a superpower. How long will the power of the West last? And in order to find out we need to know: why has the West been so dominant for the past two hundred years?
With flair and authority, historian and achaeologist Ian Morris draws uniquely on 15,000 years of history to offer fresh insights on what the future will bring. Deeply researched and brilliantly argued, Why The West Rules - For Now" is a gripping and truly original history of the world.
Why does the West rule? Eminent Stanford polymath Ian Morris answers this provocative question, drawing uniquely on 15,000 years of history and archaeology, and the methods of social science.
Winner of PEN Center USA Awards: Research Nonfiction Category 2011.
A provocative and extraordinary contribution to wide-screen comparative history... a true banquet of ideas -- Boyd Tonkin Independent An important book - one that challenges, stimulates and entertains. Anyone who does not believe there are lessons to be learned from history should start here Economist Perhaps the smartest and sanest guide to the twenty-first century so far South China Morning Post One doffs one's hat to Morris's breadth, ambition and erudition -- Paul Kennedy Sunday Times Morris is the world's most talented ancient historian, a man as much at home with state of-the-art archaeology as with the classics as they used to be studied. Here, he has brilliantly pulled off what few modern academics would dare to attempt -- Niall Ferguson Foreign Affairs Morris handles huge ideas and transglobal theories with a breathtaking ease and humour -- Artemis Cooper Evening Standard, Books of the Year [an] enjoyable and thought-provoking book -- Nicholas Shakespeare Telegraph A lucid thinker and a fine writer New York Times The nearest thing to a unified field theory of history we are ever likely to get. With wit and wisdom, Ian Morris deploys the techniques and insights of the new ancient history to address the biggest of all historical questions: Why on earth did the West beat the Rest? I loved it. -- Niall Ferguson At last - a brilliant historian with a light touch. We should all rejoice. -- John Julius Norwich A formidable, richly engrossing effort to determine why Western institutions dominate the world ... Readers will enjoy [Morris's] lively prose and impressive combination of scholarship ... with economics and science. A superior contribution to the grand-theory-of-human-history genre Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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 and has appeared on a number of television networks. This is his first trade book.