This audiobook gives a good overview of the different factors that make up a strong civilization or culture. Although the writer is a Westerner, he does show the strengths (and weaknesses) of Western culture. I live in Asia and have found myself asking some of the same questions. It affirms some of my thoughts on this. This is only an introduction to the topic, but it is a good summary.
Conquest and Cultures by Thomas Sowell
It's a long book, and I preferred listening to the facts and story VS reading.
Brought histroy to life...going back a long long way! I wish history had been taught this way, with key themes, when I was a kid and beyond. Most interesting!
The book touches on our modern thinking...computer "apps" and brings historical context into todays world. I have a far richer appreciation for what is happening around the world and some of the possible compelling reaons, after listening to this book. Would not usually lisen to a book like this, but glad I did.
Yes. I also saw the PBS special. Ferguson is good at painting with broad strokes and brings western civilization back to the fore after two decades of cultural relativism and "world history" replacing western civ courses on most university curriculums. per Ferguson the West has been a victim of its own success. If other cultures are so superior to Western, then why did they not come to dominate. The answers are revealing and today these other cultures are literally racing to Westernize.
the descriptions of Cheng He's imperial treasure fleet in the 14th century, more than 100 years before Columbus kicked off the European period of Exploration and conquest.
Can't get any better than "The West and the Rest."
The time was not well spent. Buy the print version and read it yourself.
The information and story lines were very good.
The narrator unwisely attempted to act out the imagined voices of some of his characters. The author should let others narrate his books.
There is much too much material for a movie. It would be well done as an HBO series.
I would love to hear someone else narrate the book
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!
Avid audiobook addict!
Extremely interesting book. Some of the historical date etc recitation is a little dry, but overall a refreshing antidote to the standard recitation of how bad western culture is taught in universities. Most authors should resist the temptation to narrate their own books, however. This guy's accents are terrible, and his phlegmy delivery of the other parts was excrucating to listen to.
Not the best but a good story on civilizations. I would recommend to someone who want to think a bit about our civilization.
this is a rather patronizing eurocentric view of history. there is nothing particularly unique in the ascendancy of western civilization. Just as the Babylonian, Egyptian, Indian and Chinese civilizations of the past flowered, reached their peaks then declined, so too will western civilization decline and be replaced by another.
Dick Cheney might enjoy it but it discounts large amounts of actual history and facts so that he can get his narrative to fit.
Keep his politics out of it. It permeates his writing.
Too much of the author superimposing his conclusion over cherry picked facts that suit his narrative. If you plan to read this then PLEASE make sure its not your only source for the subject in question.
Whether or not one agrees with Niall Ferguson, he's always interesting. "Civilization: The West and the Rest" is an entertaining look at why Western Civilization developed its preeminent world position, a look at history through different eyes. He weaves historical facts into well thought out theory. But, a few premises are too narrow to be the full truth, particularly his praise of Martin Luther who was a despicable, neurotic bigot. Still, I recommend the book because it's thought stimulating. Mr. Ferguson reads somewhat speedily, but he's one articulate man.