Civilization: Niall Ferguson - 2011

Civilization was written by financial and economical historian, Niall Ferguson. The book discusses how Western civilization has dominated over others in the past 500 years, and whether the time for this is now finally up.

“No civilization, no matter how mighty it may appear to itself, is indestructible.”

Ferguson bases the success of the West down to 6 important concepts which allowed it to overcome its competitors, as they were backed by the rest of the world. These six ‘killer applications’ are:

1. Competition

2. Science

3. The rule of law

4. Modern medicine

5. Consumerism

6. Work ethic

The above allowed the West to succeed with medical breakthroughs, the creation of cheaper goods and greater capital accumulated with strong work ethic.

However, these apps that were once monopolized by the West, have now been adopted by the rest allowing them to overcome and compete with the West. Instead of drawing on the killer app of Competition, the West has begun to lose faith in itself and this could be the beginning of the fall of an empire or the clash of civilizations.

In a provocative and powerful manner, Civilization presents the domination of the West over the past several hundred years, with strong messages as to the changing outcome in the future. With unforgettable characters and a dose of bold force, Ferguson recounts the chronicles of our world. Recommended to all historians, economists and those with an interest in the evolution of our civilizations.

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