Why the West Rules ... for Now: The History and Future of Development and Disruption

Why the West Rules ... for Now: The History and Future of Development and Disruption

Hardback

By (author) Ian Morris

List price $39.05

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  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 768 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 238mm x 64mm | 1,161g
  • Publication date: 13 October 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846681472
  • ISBN 13: 9781846681479
  • Illustrations note: 8, 2 maps
  • Sales rank: 46,989

Product description

There are two broad schools of thought on why the West rules. Proponents of 'Long-Term Lock-In' theories such as Jared Diamond suggest that from time immemorial, some critical factor - geography, climate, or culture perhaps - made East and West unalterably different, and determined that the industrial revolution would happen in the West and push it further ahead of the East. But the East led the West between 500 and 1600, so this development can't have been inevitable; and so proponents of 'Short-Term Accident' theories argue that Western rule was a temporary aberration that is now coming to an end, with Japan, China, and India resuming their rightful places on the world stage. However, as the West led for 9,000 of the previous 10,000 years, it wasn't just a temporary aberration. So, if we want to know why the West rules, we need a whole new theory. Ian Morris, boldly entering the turf of Jared Diamond and Niall Ferguson, provides the broader approach that is necessary, combining the textual historian's focus on context, the anthropological archaeologist's awareness of the deep past, and the social scientist's comparative methods to make sense of the past, present and future - in a way no one has ever done before.

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Author information

Ian Morris is Willard Professor of Classics, Professor of History and Director of the Archaeology Centre at Stanford University. He has written and edited a number of books, most recently The Greeks: History, Culture, Society and The Ancient Economy: Evidence and Models, and has appeared on a number of television networks, including the History Network and PBS. This is his first trade book.

Review quote

'A writer of such breathtaking vision and scope as to make him fit to be ranked alongside the likes of Jared Diamond and David Landes' - Professor Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, Cambridge University 'Here you have three books wrapped into one: an exciting novel that happens to be true; an entertaining but thorough historical account of everything important that happened to any important people in the last 10 millennia; and an educated guess about what will happen in the future. Read, learn, and enjoy!' Jared Diamond, Professor of Geography, UCLA, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, and Natural Experiments of History