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Why the West Rules--for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by [Morris, Ian]
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Why the West Rules--for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 185 customer reviews

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Length: 768 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Only the supremely self-confident put forth all-encompassing theories of world history, and Morris is one such daredevil. An archaeologist by academic specialty, he advances a quasi-deterministic construct that is suitable for nonacademics. From a repeatedly enunciated premise that humans by nature are indolent, avaricious, and fearful, Morris holds that such traits, when combined with sociology and geography, explain history right from the beginning, when humanity trudged out of Africa, through the contemporary rivalry between China and America. Such temporal range leaves scant room for individual human agency: Morris names the names of world history, but in his narrative, leaders and tyrants, at best, muddle through patterns of history that are beyond their power to shape. And those patterns, he claims, can be numerically measured by a “social development index” that he applies to every epochal change from agriculture to the industrial revolution. However, the reading is not as heavy as it may sound. His breezy style and what-if imagination for alternative scenarios should maintain audience interest; whether his sweeping perspective convinces is another matter altogether. --Gilbert Taylor

Review

Praise for Why the West Rules-for Now

“In an era when cautious academics too often confine themselves to niggling discussions of pipsqueak topics, it is a joy to see a scholar take a bold crack at explaining the vast sweep of human progress. . .
Readers of Why the West Rules—For Now are unlikely to see the history of the world in quite the same way ever again. And that can't be said of many books on any topic. Morris has penned a tour de force.”—Keith Monroe, The Virginian-Pilot
 
“If you read one history book this year, if you read one this decade, this is the one.”— Tim O’ Connell, The Florida Times-Union
 
“A monumental effort...Morris is an engaging writer with deep insights from archaeology and ancient history that offer us compelling visions about how the past influences the future.”—Michael D. Langan, Buffalo News

“[Morris] has written the first history of the world that really makes use of what modern technology can offer to the interpretation of the historical process. The result is a path-breaking work that lays out what modern history should look like.”—Harold James, Financial Times

“Morris is a lucid thinker and a fine writer. . .possessed of a welcome sense of humor that helps him guide us through this grand game of history as if he were an erudite sportscaster.” —Orville Schell, The New York Times Book Review
 
“A remarkable book that may come to be as widely read as Paul Kennedy’s 1987 work, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.’ Like Mr Kennedy’s epic, Mr Morris’s ‘Why the West Rules—For Now’ uses history and an overarching theory to address the anxieties of the present . . . This ...

Product details

  • File Size: 7883 KB
  • Print Length: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reprint edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Publication Date: October 12, 2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003VTZSFY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,433 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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