Why the West Rules—for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future

Why the West Rules for Now The Patterns of History and What They Reveal About the Future A New York Times Notable Book for Sometime around English entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal and the world was forever changed The emergence of factories ra

  • Title: Why the West Rules—for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future
  • Author: Ian Morris
  • ISBN: 9781429977043
  • Page: 150
  • Format: ebook
  • A New York Times Notable Book for 2011 Sometime around 1750, English entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal, and the world was forever changed The emergence of factories, railroads, and gunboats propelled the West s rise to power in the nineteenth century, and the development of computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth century secured itsA New York Times Notable Book for 2011 Sometime around 1750, English entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal, and the world was forever changed The emergence of factories, railroads, and gunboats propelled the West s rise to power in the nineteenth century, and the development of computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth century secured its global supremacy Now, at the beginning of the twenty first century, many worry that the emerging economic power of China and India spells the end of the West as a superpower In order to understand this possibility, we need to look back in time Why has the West dominated the globe for the past two hundred years, and will its power last Describing the patterns of human history, the archaeologist and historian Ian Morris offers surprising new answers to both questions It is not, he reveals, differences of race or culture, or even the strivings of great individuals, that explain Western dominance It is the effects of geography on the everyday efforts of ordinary people as they deal with crises of resources, disease, migration, and climate As geography and human ingenuity continue to interact, the world will change in astonishing ways, transforming Western rule in the process.Deeply researched and brilliantly argued, Why the West Rules for Now spans fifty thousand years of history and offers fresh insights on nearly every page The book brings together the latest findings across disciplines from ancient history to neuroscience not only to explain why the West came to rule the world but also to predict what the future will bring in the next hundred years.

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    1. Ian Morris

      Ian Morris Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Why the West Rules—for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future book, this is one of the most wanted Ian Morris author readers around the world.

    186 thoughts on “Why the West Rules—for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future”

    1. Something strange was afoot. A mere geographer, Jared Diamond, had had the temerity to publish a history book, upending centuries of historians’ speculations about the reasons why civilization first developed in the Middle East. It was 2005, and the book was Guns, Germs, and Steel.Five years later an archaeologist, Ian Morris, wrote another history book (for the general reader!) called Why the West Rules — for Now. Building on Diamond’s thesis, Morris laid out his own, more comprehensive v [...]

    2. Wow, all those four- and five-star reviews. I disagree.First up, it should be called Why China Hasn't Ruled the World Up Till Now, But Will After 2103.¹ The book opens with an AU, in which the Chinese navy forces Queen Victoria to swear fealty, and takes Albert hostage to ensure her co-operation. Morris asks, "Why did British boats shoot their way up the Yangzi in 1842, rather than Chinese ones up the Thames?" (p. 11) This is an exciting and interesting question. Morris finally answers it 546 r [...]

    3. First off, this is a very readable, interesting and often insightful book. It works as a good history of development in East Asia and Europe.I have mixed feelings about the scale of Morris' ambition, though. Or maybe just his framing.He seems like he very much wants to the scholar who has *the* theory that explains why Europe came from behind to zoom past China in the last couple centuries, but to some extent the explanation is "civilizations face crises, if they are lucky they aren't that deep [...]

    4. While the title "Why the West Rules For Now" suggests a right wing polemic mourning the decline of Western Civilization, something written by Niall Ferguson at best, and Mark Levin at worst, Ian Morris' weighty volume is far from it (in fact, he has been criticized as being too culturally relativist). Instead, Ferguson gives a survey of the long view of human history, bringing into focus patterns that are obscured when one views history in terms of decades and centuries. Morris' book is in the [...]

    5. Astounding! I was fascinated by the premise of the book (why DOES the West rule, anyway?) but I was blown away by the scope! To make his case, Morris starts us at the dawn of humankind and takes us on a guided tour through all periods of human history until a little less than a year ago.His writing is wonderful. I felt as though I had a firm grasp on the big picture throughout the entire book. His tone is conversational and he interjects very mild humor where appropriate. As someone who has not [...]

    6. This review also appears on my blog at silashruparellMy one-liner: Quite simply the best popular history book you will ever read. Astounding survey of historical forces that have shaped today’s world.At the top of the front cover of this book, there is the following quote from Niall Ferguson: “The nearest thing to a unified field theory of history we are ever likely to see”. That is not far off the mark, and it would be impossible to do justice to the breathtaking breadth covered by this w [...]

    7. Britanyalı Tarihçi ve Arkeolog Ian Morris'in bu hacimli kitabı (yaklaşık 830 sayfa), insanlık tarihinin son 14.000 yılı üzerine odaklanarak Doğu-Batı mukayesesi, medeniyet tarihi ve gelecek projeksiyonları ortaya koyan ufuk açıcı bir çalışmaKitapta "Doğu denildiğinde başta Çin olmak üzere Uzakdoğu; "Batı" denildiğinde ise Mezopotamya ve Akdeniz Havzası (ve bilahare Kuzeybatı Avrupa) ele alınıyor. Bu çerçevede Türk-İslam tarihi Batı çekirdeğinin içerisinde de [...]

    8. We open with the Chinese navy sailing up the Thames, forcing Queen Victoria to sign a humiliating treaty and taking Prince Albert back to China as a hostage. Why did this story in fact happen the other way around? After all, five hundred years ago the outcome was not obvious. Ian Morris explores this question by presenting the entire history of a world reduced to two regions, which he chooses to call East and West. The East essentially means China, while the West is defined as the descendants of [...]

    9. The New York Times review (see The Final Conflict, by Orville Schell) of this epic work includes this paragraph in describing the book’s conclusion:The competition that East and West have been pursuing for so long, Morris warns, is about to be disrupted by some powerful forces. Nuclear proliferation, population growth, global epidemics and climate change are in the process of radically altering old historical patterns. “We are approaching the greatest discontinuity in history,” he says.Aft [...]

    10. This book was Fantastic! A+Morris' main focus is "energy capture". He examines how organisms capture energy from the sun and from their surrounding environments and use that energy to remain active and build things. His particular interest is in how various groups of humans have captured and used energy over time to build the civilizations we have built throughout history. In addition to energy capture, he looks at the social, cultural, and economical forces that shaped various empires and polit [...]

    11. Why the West Rules for Now by Ian MorrisFascinating!! 10 out of 10 - Why the West rules - for now?- There are quite a few answers to this question, but it might be geography that played the most important roleNevertheless, The Economist has on the cover of the issue of October 12th-19th the photo of the Chinese president with the tittle: - The Most Powerful Man in the WorldIn other words, the Rule of the West has already ended and it must be said that for many centuries, the West lagged behind t [...]

    12. Another truly remarkable book from Ian Morris, I was concerned that there would be too much cross over from the last one I read however they are easily read without that feeling of repetition. This reminds me of The Rise and Fall if Great Powers but with a much broader scope. I need a break to think before I leap into the next Ian Morris book. Highly recommended

    13. A comprehensive - somewhat dry - and theoretical explanation of why the West played such an important part in the World's history, and why that will change. If you have a master degree in history, you might find this book suits you, but if you like history as a general interest, this is not a book I'd recommendI've read Ian Morris's War! What Is It Good For?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots and could have known where I was in for. When Ian Morris writes a book, [...]

    14. World historians generally divide into "short-termers" who believe that great individuals and bungling idiots drive history and "long termers" who attribute relative strengths of societies to genetic differences in populations. Ian Morris argues for a third hypothesis -- that biology and sociology determine the path of social development and that all variation between societies is a function of geography. In other words, for example, "an" industrial revolution was inevitable but "the" industrial [...]

    15. Excellent analysis of historical facts from very early ages until twenty first century (even some predictions of the future) that eventually sums up the background for West dominance in the last two chapters. Some of the details in the book makes it even more attractive for Historians and Anthropologists however Political Scientists will find institutional and state level analyses more interesting. If you have time and interest this is a MUST read book!

    16. I'm not done with the book yet, I reached the part where he's comparing as he claims our ancestors, the ones that came from the west and the ones from the east. Despite the fact that I don't believe that our ancestors were monkeys, but the differences he mentioned were realistic. I'm still enjoying the book let's see what happens after i'm done. I hope it doesn't shift to bordem.

    17. Better than Guns Germs and steel and that's saying something; a seminal book about the sweep of human history and one that puts a lot of things in perspective; tons of sfnal references from Nightfall to Hari Seldon and many more add extra pleasure for the sff reader#1 non-fiction book of 2010 for me

    18. In ‘Why the West Rules – For Now’ Ian Morris has crafted a phenomenal historical reference that provides an enlightened but cautionary perspective of the patterns of human history. As noted by the title, this book explores the distinctions that separate Eastern and Western global power in the present age and how the world came to be the way that it is today. Morris does this remarkably through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary exploration of long-term historical trends that utilizes ma [...]

    19. I'm not giving this a star rating as I read it for my Comparative Civilizations class. I will say the author's writing had me laughing from time to time!

    20. When I'm reading this book, I like it a lot. It's fascinating, erudite, and written with a surprisingly light touch. The further I get away from it, the more critical I get. The reason I'm getting more critical as I consider it is I think he takes geographical determinism too far. Despite endorsing the aphorism, "it's maps, not chaps," Morris is not entirely saying that geography is destiny. He does acknowledge that the meaning of geography changes over time (meaning mostly changes with technolo [...]

    21. The author covered a potentially dry topic in a fashion that kept me reading. Not that I found the question embedded in the title boring, it is just that there were many chances to lose the reader since the author went far back in ancient history, traced the East versus West balance to the present, and then projected into the future--a lot of ground was covered. Many relevant statistics were presented to make the author's case, it was generally done with some drama mixed in, which prevented the [...]

    22. Не скажу, що ця книга мені не сподобалася. Вона непогано написана, вона заповнила деякі прогалини в моїх знаннях про розвиток людства. Часом вона розважає, переказуючи історичні анекдоти. Якщо не підходити до неї з серйозними очікуваннями, то вона навіть зможе стати непога [...]

    23. I received Ian Moriss' book as a present. The title annoyed me – for a person who had grown up in Russia, there're thousands of paperbacks published every year, full of conspiracy theories, 'alternative facts,' and drawing to the same, Shpenglerian conclusions: 'the West rules by mistake/cruelty/mere luck' etc. The book with a title like this, I thought, simply can't be anything non-ideological. I was, however, mistaken. When I started to read the book, I've already read Yuval Harrari's "Sapie [...]

    24. This includes an enjoyable journey through tens of thousands of human history, following the earliest human migration out of Africa, through the East and west and the chronicling the first civilizations. I am not sure how confident I am of Morris' Social Development metric as an objective measure of, well, advancement of some sort, but surely the general picture is accurate. He provides insight into why the west developed first, why the East overtook the west about 500 CE only for the East to lo [...]

    25. Una historia de la civilización como nunca antes se ha escritoOccidente desencadenó en su revolución industrial la impresionante energía del vapor y el carbón y, al hacerlo, cambió el mundo para siempre. Fábricas, ferrocarriles y barcos de guerra provocaron que Occidente se hiciera con el poder en el siglo xix y el desarrollo de los ordenadores y las armas nucleares en el siglo xx garantizaron su supremacía global. Ahora, al inicio del siglo xxi, a muchos preocupa que el ascenso económi [...]

    26. The author provides a very fascinating insight into the travails and journeys of modern man to reach the current stage of development. The book is very engaging overall as he takes us through towering heroes, bungling idiots and maps. It is very readable even to a layman in history as he connects the dots to build up a big picture of major historical events like fall of the roman empire, renaissance, genghis khans exploits, industrialization of the west etc, In the process, a lot of perceptions [...]

    27. One of the best historic surveys I have read. It covers the scope of human history from before Neanderthal to the present in a way that fascinates and informs. Its focus on the key factors that measure a society's growth over time and its position in relation to others will likely to transform the writing of history for decades. It shows us that historic people and events we thought to be big are often small, and trends we tend to ignore cam be inevitably transformational, and highlights obstacl [...]

    28. This is a breathtaking ride through history. All of it. Starting in 20,000 B.C. and working forwards. The author attempts to fit all of human history into a single, unifying field theory of the growth and decline of civilizations. Of course he doesn't succeed. But it's still a heck of a ride. Morris' depth of knowledge is breathtaking. It is very well written, and despite being some 700 pages long, I was sorry to see it come to an end. Interestingly, the main theme of the book touches on the age [...]

    29. Only the supremely self-confident put forth all-encompassing theories of world history, and Morris is one such daredevil. An archaeologist by academic specialty, he advances a quasi-deterministic construct that is suitable for nonacademics. From a repeatedly enunciated premise that humans by nature are indolent, avaricious, and fearful, Morris holds that such traits, when combined with sociology and geography, explain history right from the beginning, when humanity trudged out of Africa, through [...]

    30. I read this book through Audible and the amount of information provided, especially at the beginning when it was all new to me, made it a bit overwhelming. I imagine that I would have had a different experience if I was reading it. Probably would have read slower. :)Ian Morris, uses the question in the title to walk you through the history of civilization. He goes back further than any history book I've ever read, and his goals for this book were truly large and impressive. Honestly the question [...]

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