The author outlined his concepts in a clear and concise manner. The chapter headings really clarified his position and provided direction in the reading.
The medicine chapter really stood out. The impacts of tropical diseases on the progression of different civilizations left a lasting impression in my mind.
It's difficult to pick out a favorite scene in this book. The chapter on medicine was one of my favorites.
The depth at which the subject is tackled.
Niall Ferguson is a strong narrator and because it is his own book he knows just when to put the infection in a sentence. The subject is entertaining and well expressed. There is a pretty obvious bias that Mr. Ferguson acknowledges from the beginning but overall it doesn't show up too often and is not very one sided. there is allot of good history in this book.
There's a reason why professional actors read audio books. This was a great book that because very annoying because of the author's poor ability to narrate his own book. His ethnic accents were the worst and borderline insulting. Read this one, don't listen to it.
Yes. Good Material ... but don't take it too seriously. Ferguson ignores Indian civilization altogether and thus makes some obvious mistakes (e.g. Atheism is a western construct). There's also a bias here towards Christianity and the repreated "The West and the Rest" tagline can be offensive. And he really didn't need to try to appear 'tech-savvy' with terms like Killer Apps. That said, its a good book and I'd recommend it to all with the caveat that it shouldn't be taken as gospel.
I already have! He is a good writer - some biases not withstanding.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Ascent of Money" so thought I would give it a spin. "Civilization" was no disappointment. Ferguson is a great writer & makes the subject matter both accessible and engaging. Like "Ascent", I'm not sure I agree with all his conclusions but it's one hell of a ride to listen to him think about Big Issues.
That said, I have absolutely zero clue as to why the audio producers (Ferguson himself?) insisted on reading the epigrams with those silly accents. Confucius, I am quite certain, spoke no English (especially since English didn't come into existence for more than 1000 years after he died), so why even try to portray him as speaking English like Charlie Chan? Same for all the other nationalities. The French sound idiotic, the Spanish silly, and so on. I'll give a little leeway for allowing Scots to be read in their accent, but that's about it.
Normally not such a big deal, but since this book touches in part on issues of why certain civilizations have fared better than others, it smacks of provincialism, and also there's a ton of quotation that goes on.
Tantor audio editors have demonstrated on numerous recording their inability to recognize such things as faulty pronunciations of either English or foreign words. This recording takes them to another dimension of incompetence. Whoever allowed the author to be his narrator should be fired. Ferguson's petulant and even scolding voice is bad enough, but his juvenile voicing in what he thinks to be the voice of the person quoted is nothing short of an embarrassment. This is not a children's recording of Frog and Toad are Friends.
The narration is such that I find it hard to concentrate on the already shot gun approach to the text itself. Spare yourself this one.
Less bombast, more insightful thinking. His Euro-centrism is abominable. I felt I had stumbled into the 19th century through a time-warp. I guess Rudyard Kipling still lives!
Nothing by him!
Someone who reads slower and is less hysterical. His lapsing into accents from other cultures is dreadful!
The book really makes the case that the West has had an extrodinarily disproportionate impact on World History over the past 500 years. He doesn't crow about it or make value judgement. He just lays out in his evidence in a thoughtful manner that you won't have difficulty following.