The Great Degeneration

The Great Degeneration : How Institutions Decay and Economies Die

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The decline of the West is something that has long been prophesied. Symptoms of decline are all around us today: slowing growth, crushing debts, ageing populations. But what exactly is amiss with Western civilization? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues, is that the institutions that were once the four pillars of Western society - representative government, the free market, the rule of law and civil society - are degenerating. The Great Degeneration is a powerful indictment of an era of negligence and complacency. To stop us frittering away the institutional inheritance of centuries, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform. "A refreshing perspective on the economic decline of advanced countries and the origins of the crisis." (Samuel Brittan, Financial Times). "He writes with splendid panache and a seemingly effortless, debonair wit." (The Times). "One of the most incisive writers of history, politics and economics today." (Sunday Telegraph). "Niall Ferguson has transformed the intellectual landscape." (Economist).show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 12mm | 100g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141975237
  • 9780141975238
  • 42,111

Review quote

Brilliantly written, full of wit and virtuosity, stuffed with memorable lines and gorgeous bits of information. A great read The Times (on Civilization) A dazzling history of Western ideas ... epic Economist This is sharp. It feels urgent. Ferguson... twists his knife with great literary brio -- Andrew Marr (on Civilization) A masterpiece ... fascinating facts burst like fireworks on every page Sunday Times Brings history alive for the reader with a dazzling knowledge ... peerless Independent on Sundayshow more

About Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He is the author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, High Financier, Civilization and The Great Degeneration. His Kissinger, a feature-length film based on his interviews with Henry Kissinger, won the 2011 New York Film Festival prize for best documentary. His many other prizes and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).show more