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How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity | [Rodney Stark]

How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Dennis FORT PIERCE, FL, United States 07-17-14
    Dennis FORT PIERCE, FL, United States 07-17-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
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    Story
    "Dispelles the misconceptions of modern lies"
    Would you listen to How the West Won again? Why?

    Yes, I actually do plan on listening to this book again, enjoyed the whole thing in great perspective of the facts not fiction


    What was one of the most memorable moments of How the West Won?

    Revealing the differences of the various religons and their views on progress


    What does Kevin Foley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I have listened to literally hundreds of books an Mr Foley is near the top of readers


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    How the West overcame the rest


    Any additional comments?

    I am looking forward to reading more of Mr Stark's works

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric James Johnson Michigan, USA 08-09-14
    Eric James Johnson Michigan, USA 08-09-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    9
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    Story
    "NEWS FLASH! Western Civilation is not EVIL!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What about Kevin Foley’s performance did you like?

    Scholarly presentation... totally devoid of sensationalism.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I know (knew?) nearly nothing of The Crusades. I did not realize 'The West' was so noble then.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David United States 08-04-14
    David United States 08-04-14 Member Since 2012

    Hellicopter Man

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Like A Refreshing Vodka and Tonic"
    Where does How the West Won rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the "Must Read" List


    What other book might you compare How the West Won to and why?

    The West And The RestHow The English Speaking Poeples Invented FreedomGuns Germs and Steel


    Which character – as performed by Kevin Foley – was your favorite?

    N/A


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and pretty much did.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert W. 08-14-14
    Robert W. 08-14-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unquestionably the worst history I have ever read."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    One Hundred Years of Solitude. Actual literature, not like this.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from How the West Won?

    All of it.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    5 of 13 people found this review helpful
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