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.
French professor, ebook creator, and bien d'autres choses (lots of other things). Franceinfo.us. Fan of 19th-20th Cent French & European Fiction, western thought (homer to heidegger), Rushdie, Murakami....
I think this might be interesting for someone who knows less about western civ. The author jumps all over the map and uses examples that are not particularly well supported in detail.
I would have like a more scholarly book. This is more for the general public
He's a bit overly bubly and strident for my taste. More serious tone?
First, I must say that I love the way Niall Ferguson reads this book. On top of that, he makes an excellent argument for why the Western Civilization predominates. Just as scary is his contention that our "king of the hill" status is sliding away. I learned more about world history in the 11 hours than listening to almost any other book I heard. When he describes Western Europe in the 14th century, it is mind boggling that they took over the world. His contention that turning inward and restricting the rest of the world influence is the key to the fall of a great civilization. It is particularly relevant to our times in the US. Our xenophobia is literally setting us up for a fall. My suggestion for interested readers is to listening to the book, "Debt:a history". After these two books, any intelligent person will have a firm understanding of where we've come from and where we're heading as a people. It's hard to not buy into the belief that homo sapiens are essentially war mongers. When watching the movie, "Chronicles of Riddick," it is hard not to think the US is not turning into Necromongers.
While not necessarily agreeing with all of Ferguson's assumptions and paradigms, "Civilization" does an excellent job of giving the listener a context in which our current economic problems are really allowing past "Western Excellence" in what he defines as "six killer apps" entropy--by all sorts of moral decay, while other nations, are adopting those apps and making them the basis of expanding economic growth.
Ferguson's narration and various voices of his quotations bring the book to life.
This book is really a pro-Britain history of how they did everything. Americans are credited with little and even the French get credit for winning our revolution, "the French victory at Yorktown." The narrator was the GEICO gecko. It's OK, a 3 of 5 but did not hold up to my expectations.