Marcelv's Reviews > Why the West Rules—for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future

Why the West Rules—for Now by Ian Morris
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's review
Jan 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: history, science
Read in February, 2011

A very interesting book which more or less builds upon the books by Jared Diamond. Ian Morris goes a bit further and incorporates the current state of archeology and history to paint a picture of the two main centers of development for human societies (East and West). He also tries to quantify the developmental state of societies during the ages.

He comes up with a number of surprising finds (I'll leave those to the reader) and also some slightly worrying/disturbing things. There have been a number of "brutal" reversals in the development of both "cores" and the big question is whether we'll live to see another reversal. That implies a downturn in the developmental level of society.

Climate change (which is simply a given fact, what is happening nowadays doesn't even need to be enhanced by ourselves to make it relevant), diseases, famine, malfunctioning governments and outside pressure decide how bad the effects of such a reversal are. (Given the current food related unrest throughout the world, this is acutely relevant.)

All in all a very interesting, though-provoking book which manages to show you lots of information on known and much lesser known history in a really different way. A must read if you like the books by Jared Diamond. Even though it is quite a hefty tome, it really doesn't become boring.

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