Why the West Rules--for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal about the Future / Edition 1

Why the West Rules--for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal about the Future / Edition 1

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by Ian Morris
     
 

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011

Sometime around 1750, English entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal, and the world was forever changed. The emergence of factories, railroads, and gunboats propelled the West's rise to power in the nineteenth century, and the development of computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth

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Overview

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011

Sometime around 1750, English entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal, and the world was forever changed. The emergence of factories, railroads, and gunboats propelled the West's rise to power in the nineteenth century, and the development of computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth century secured its global supremacy. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, many worry that the emerging economic power of China and India spells the end of the West as a superpower. In order to understand this possibility, we need to look back in time. Why has the West dominated the globe for the past two hundred years, and will its power last?

Describing the patterns of human history, the archaeologist and historian Ian Morris offers surprising new answers to both questions. It is not, he reveals, differences of race or culture, or even the strivings of great individuals, that explain Western dominance. It is the effects of geography on the everyday efforts of ordinary people as they deal with crises of resources, disease, migration, and climate. As geography and human ingenuity continue to interact, the world will change in astonishing ways, transforming Western rule in the process.

Deeply researched and brilliantly argued, Why the West Rules--for Now spans fifty thousand years of history and offers fresh insights on nearly every page. The book brings together the latest findings across disciplines--from ancient history to neuroscience--not only to explain why the West came to rule the world but also to predict what the future will bring in the next hundred years.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374290023
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
10/12/2010
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
768
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction 3

PART I

1 Before East and West 39

2 The West Takes the Lead 81

3 Taking the Measure of the Past 135

PART II

4 The East Catches Up 175

5 Neck and Neck 227

6 Decline and Fall 280

7 The Eastern Age 331

8 Going Global 384

9 The West Catches Up 434

10 The Western Age 490

PART III

11 Why the West Rules ... 557

12 ...For Now 582

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