Niall Ferguson's Civilization: The Six Killer Apps of Western Power is a vital, brilliant look at the winning tools of power.
In 1412, Europe was a miserable backwater ravaged by plague, bad sanitation and incessant war, while the Orient was home to dazzling civilizations. So how did the West come to dominate the Rest? In this vital, brilliant book, selected as a Daily Telegraph Book of the Year, Niall Ferguson reveals the 'killer applications' that did it:
- COMPETITION How Europe's small, piratical states built modern capitalism
- SCIENCE How innovation gave the West the military edge
- PROPERTY RIGHTS How the laws of private property built the United States
- MEDICINE How colonialism transformed the world's health
- THE CONSUMER SOCIETY How shopping made the industrial revolution
- THE WORK ETHIC How Western religious ideas brought it all together
But has the West now lost its monopoly on these six things? Or is this the end of Western ascendancy?
'A dazzling history of Western ideas ... epic'
'Vivid and fascinating'
'Superb ... brings history alive ... dazzling'
'This is sharp. It feels urgent. Ferguson ... twists his knife with great literary brio'
Andrew Marr, Financial Times
Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the bestselling author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus, The War of the World and The Ascent of Money.