I wanted to like this book after listening to an interview of the author on Jon Batchelor's podcast. It starts with some big ideas and then spirals into countless granular level incidents that do little more than fill space, providing little substance or insights.
The annoying, hokey accents of historical figures made the narration grating. I wanted to like the book, but advise not bothering.
Well written, well red. It's interesting since the beginning, and doesn't go around the same few concepts as in many books.
I found this book to be extremely well organized and thoughtfully composed as it ties together a lot of historical and current issues and to provide a surprisingly comprehensible analysis of why the West has held a dominant position in the world for so long and why, perhaps, that light may be fading.
Like others who try to connect the dots of history Mr. Ferguson creates a fascinating and often humorous explanation for the events that shaped mankind. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history or is curious about just exactly how we got here.
I am a voracious audiobook listener. I listen to everything: fiction, business, technology, politics...I need an interesting story, intriguing characters, and a fast pace to keep me interested.
I've enjoyed other books by Niall Ferguson. He is lucid and weaves an interesting story out of dry facts and figures. I will listen to his work any time. BUT, if he reads his work himself it is EXTRAORDINARILY BETTER! He brings the passion of his words, the nuance of his humor, and the gift of his insights to light. Please: more of this!
More books read by this author please!
Ferguson's performance is engaging. But the content is the star. He reveals the 'killer apps' that led to the ascendency of the West and the incredible increase of the wealth of its participants. I learned a lot. More importantly I know the key pillars that need to be protected to prevent the collapse of our civilization.
The author covers a broad set of topics and treats them well. I find the book interesting enough to continue despite awful voicing by the narrator. His "normal" voice is just fine; it's when he dips into character with other accents that it becomes a chore to listen. Please, please, please stick to the words and skip the accents!
Niall Ferguson has a definite point of view (how refreshing in this time of moral equivalance). He is definitely proud of his western heritage. He is able to give a fascinating account and analysis of the rise of the west, and worries for it's future. I enjoyed each chapter as they brought fresh insignts into historical events. He discusses connections between social, religious, and economic factors. His concluding chapter, in which he discussess civilization as a complex structure is excellent. I highly recommend this book, and this author. On to his next book.
Naill was an excellent narrator! the book to me was entertaining more than educational due the influence of Nassim Taleb on my thinking involving the legitimacy of any historical arguments of causation made after the fact.