Chris's Reviews > Civilization: The West and the Rest

Civilization by Niall Ferguson
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Feb 03, 2012

it was amazing
Read from January 13 to February 03, 2012

Absolutely fascinating. Much better than Kennedy's 1987 bummer of a book and Diamond's boring tome, Gun, Germs, and Steel. Both I've read and are mentioned here. Ferguson argues that the West beat the East because of six skill sets/features or as he calls them in today's parlance-killer apps. They would be: competition; medicine; property; consumption; science; and work. By work he really might mean religion, specifically Christianity. He invokes the Protestant work ethic and goes into a detailed discussion on the rising numbers of Christians in China. Lots of great points in this book like how our consumer society has created "one of the greatest paradoxes of modern history: designed to offer infinite choice, it has homogenized humanity." It's very readable and downright enjoyable. Unlike a lot of academics Ferguson writes like a journalist- Gladwell-like. The summary has lots of interesting info on complex systems analysis and economics about the future for the US and China. Glad I bought it. Another keeper.
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01/14/2012 page 41
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