Modernity developed only in the West - in Europe and North America. Nowhere else did science and democracy arise; nowhere else was slavery outlawed. Only Westerners invented chimneys, musical scores, telescopes, eyeglasses, pianos, electric lights, aspirin, and soap. The question is, why? Unfortunately, that question has become so politically incorrect that most scholars avoid it. But acclaimed author Rodney Stark provides the answers in this sweeping new look at Western civilization.
How the West Won demonstrates the primacy of uniquely Western ideas - among them the belief in free will, the commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, the notion that the universe functions according to rational rules that can be discovered, and the emphasis on human freedom and secure property rights. How the West Won displays Stark's gifts for lively narrative history and making the latest scholarship accessible to all. This bold, insightful book will force you to rethink your understanding of the West and the birth of modernity - and to recognize that Western civilization really has set itself apart from other cultures.
©2014 Rodney Stark (P)2014 Tantor
Yes, I actually do plan on listening to this book again, enjoyed the whole thing in great perspective of the facts not fiction
Revealing the differences of the various religons and their views on progress
I have listened to literally hundreds of books an Mr Foley is near the top of readers
How the West overcame the rest
I am looking forward to reading more of Mr Stark's works
We Euro-types (especially males) take a beating in popular media these days. It's a kind of sport, really, for the others, and our own masochists. If all that is getting you down, or you sense it isn't quite true, listen to this.
I see the rants on popular web sites, and they are okay as a quick antidote to our daily poison. Kind of a sugar rush, I suppose. This book, on the other hand, has real meat on it, and is served without flash, fanfare, or chest-beating.
Scholarly presentation... totally devoid of sensationalism.
I know (knew?) nearly nothing of The Crusades. I did not realize 'The West' was so noble then.
In the "Must Read" List
The West And The RestHow The English Speaking Poeples Invented FreedomGuns Germs and Steel
Yes, and pretty much did.
All sorts of things I should have known, and some things I suspected. For instance, I have always been curious how ancient Rome fed all those legions and construction workers. And the population of Rome dropped about 90% in a very short period of time at the end. Now I might know why. Specifically, the state apparatus that confiscated all that needed food was enfebled and the residents had to go out and grow their own food. Or something. Anyway, at least in Gaul, the country people became better fed.
A LOT better fed. Skeletal autopsies and isotopic studies show this. Apparently the country people got bigger and several inches taller. The glory of rome was built on near starvation rations left over for those who provided the food. So now we might more appreciate the various rebellions.What we lost during 'the dark ages' was a vast aristocracy with leasure time to contemplate Plato and write histories of Roman Glory.
I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
One Hundred Years of Solitude. Actual literature, not like this.
All of it.
This book is a cheesy patchwork of cheap rhetorical tricks, self-contradictions, ad hominem attacks on historians, Anglo-Saxon boosterism, religious bigotry, and conspiracy theories.
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