How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity

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Overview

Finally the Truth about the Rise of the West

Modernity developed only in the West—in Europe and North America. Nowhere else did science and democracy arise; nowhere else was slavery outlawed. Only Westerners invented chimneys, musical scores, telescopes, eyeglasses, pianos, electric lights, aspirin, and soap.

The question is, Why?

Unfortunately, that question has become so ...

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How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity

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Overview

Finally the Truth about the Rise of the West

Modernity developed only in the West—in Europe and North America. Nowhere else did science and democracy arise; nowhere else was slavery outlawed. Only Westerners invented chimneys, musical scores, telescopes, eyeglasses, pianos, electric lights, aspirin, and soap.

The question is, Why?

Unfortunately, that question has become so politically incorrect that most scholars avoid it. But acclaimed author Rodney Stark provides the answers in this sweeping new look at Western civilization.

How the West Won demonstrates the primacy of uniquely Western ideas—among them the belief in free will, the commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, the notion that the universe functions according to rational rules that can be dis­covered, and the emphasis on human freedom and secure property rights.

Taking readers on a thrilling journey from ancient Greece to the present, Stark challenges much of the received wisdom about Western his­tory. How the West Won shows, for example:

• Why the fall of Rome was the single most beneficial event in the rise of Western civilization
• Why the “Dark Ages” never happened
• Why the Crusades had nothing to do with grabbing loot or attacking the Muslim world unprovoked
• Why there was no “Scientific Revolution” in the seventeenth century
• Why scholars’ recent efforts to dismiss the importance of battles are ridiculous: had the Greeks lost at the Battle of Marathon, we probably would never have heard of Plato or Aristotle

Stark also debunks absurd fabrications that have flourished in the past few decades: that the Greeks stole their culture from Africa; that the West’s “discoveries” were copied from the Chinese and Muslims; that Europe became rich by plundering the non-Western world. At the same time, he reveals the woeful inadequacy of recent attempts to attribute the rise of the West to purely material causes—favorable climates, abundant natural resources, guns and steel.

How the West Won displays Rodney Stark’s gifts for lively narrative history and making the latest scholarship accessible to all readers. This bold, insightful book will force you to rethink your understanding of the West and the birth of modernity—and to recognize that Western civilization really has set itself apart from other cultures.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"What sets How the West Won apart from similar histories, and what makes it a sheer delight to read, is Stark's wit, his elegant writing and, most especially, his reinterpretation of various historical events." —-Smoky Mountain News
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610170857
  • Publisher: ISI Books
  • Publication date: 2/24/2014
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 43,221
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Rodney Stark is the award-winning author of The Victory of Reason, The Rise of Christianity, God’s Battalions, and many other books. He serves as Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University. Before earning his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, Stark was a staff writer for several major publications. Visit the author online at www.rodneystark.com.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    What a wonderful writing style this truly gifted scholar has.

    What a wonderful writing style this truly gifted scholar has.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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