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Civilization: The West and the Rest with Niall Ferguson
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The West once ruled more than half the world. The religion it exported, Christianity, is still followed by a third of mankind. Above all, the way people live - or aspire to live - is unmistakably an invention of the West. All over the world, more and more humans eat a Western diet, wear Western clothes and live in Western housing. But are we living through the beginning of the end of the West's ascendancy? In this remarkable series, Niall Ferguson explains how by juxtaposing the West and 'the Rest', we can uncover the keys - the six killer applications - of Western ascendancy: the real explanation of how, for roughly five centuries, a clear minority of mankind managed to secure the lion's share of the Earth´s resources.]]>
Top Customer Reviews
Regarding Protestant work ethic, I would highly recommend Simon Schama's An Embarrassment of Riches, which focuses on the success of the Netherlands, the societal guilt in admitting to so much wealth, and how they tried to perfect themselves as a nation.
Having taught an honors section of Western Civilization thirty years ago, I would have found this series invaluable for laying out the basic premise of the development of modern western civilization. It is not a replacement for serious reading or coursework, but it is an engaging introduction and thesis to frame the key issues facing the west and "the rest" today.
A four hour program cannot be written about in a concise manner. He speaks about the West's domination of China, Africa, and... He postulates that China may well be the dominant power in the not to long.
He credits Weber's use of the term the "Protestant work ethic" which promoted capitalism and ergo, Western dominance. But, he rightly notes that religion is being
dissipated in Europe -- to be replaced by the seeking of pleasure.
And, it seems that only the U. S. has become more rather than less religious than the European nations. But, generally the West (in totality) has taken to materialism greed and an unrestained quest for pleasure as well. As China has usurped the work ethic and is embrasing Christianity.
It's four hours -- but, quite intriguing. I believe in many of Mr. Ferguson's narrative and conclusions. Will the West survive? Both he and I don't know.
David Chowes, New York City
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ferguson argues that ideas (intangible and abstract) are more important to human life and society, in contrast to resources (tangible and visible). Read morePublished 3 months ago by Clay Garner
In addition to "The Ascent of Money," "Civilization" is yet another great documentary by Niall Ferguson, a Harvard University professor. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Szabolcs Sovenyi
If you are into documentaries, this is top rate, and is not so infused with the political correctness that makes most US documentaries banal and inconsequential. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Edgar F. Prasthofer
Potted history, with some moralizing added.
Maybe it's for people who don’t read much. Why just these six vaguely specified Apps? Read more
This DVD is a must see for all high schoolers, college level students, and their parents.Published 15 months ago by Roger
Very interesting, the research the man must have done was just the best. The filming was spectaculerPublished 23 months ago by Betty Ross
CHARLES MURRAY'S "HUMAN ACCOMPLISHMENT" (ACHIEVEMENT IN THE ARTS & SCIENCES FROM 800BC-1950AD), RODNEY STARKS' "VICTORY OF REASON" (HOW CHRISTIANITY CREATED... Read morePublished on August 3, 2014 by TREVOR SCOTT