Summary & Study Guide - Civilization by Lee Tang

The West and the Rest

The must-read summary of “Civilization: The West and the Rest,“ by Niall Ferguson.

Summary & study guide - civilization

Why does Western civilization dominate the rest of the world?

The must-read summary of “Civilization: The West and the Rest,“ by Niall Ferguson.

The central question is: Why did the West dominate the Rest and not vice versa?  The book describes six concepts that the West has developed that allow them to leap ahead of the Rest, unleashing the Industrial Revolution and increasing human productivity. 

Six hundred years ago, Ming China and Ottoman Turkey dominated the world civilizations, while Western Europe was a miserable backwater, devastated by incessant war and disease. But today, Western civilization has risen to global dominance. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals in the past 500 or so years?

In Civilization, Niall Ferguson argues that beginning in the 15th century, the West developed six powerful concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, property rights, medicine, consumerism, and work ethic. These six killer apps allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest, unleashing the Industrial Revolution and increasing human productivity.

Yet now, the days of Western predominance are numbered because the Rest are adopting these same concepts, while the West has lost faith in its own civilization.

Read this book and learn how these six killer apps helped the West dominate the world.

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Genre: HISTORY / Civilization

Secondary Genre: STUDY AIDS / Study Guides

Language: English

Keywords: civilization, world history, imperialism, legal systems, institutional structures, Ottoman Empire, Ming Dynasty

Word Count: 20,000

Sample text:

In the 15th century, two Eastern empires—Ming China and Ottoman Turkey—dominated world civilization. The world’s biggest city was Beijing, with a population of 600,000 to 700,000. Western Europe was a miserable backwater, recuperating from the ravages of the Black Death and plagued by bad sanitation and incessant war. Only one of the world’s ten biggest cities was European—Paris, with a population of 200,000.

Yet by 1913, these petty states of Western Europe produced a civilization that converts people around the world to their way of life. Eleven Western empires controlled 60 percent of the world's population and 75 percent of its economy. London was a global megalopolis with a population of 6.5 million. Only one of the world's ten biggest cities was Asian—Tokyo. Today, the rise of the United States has widened the gap between West and East even further.

Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Already translated. Translated by Ariane Zabaleta
Author review:
Excellent quality and timely delivery.
Already translated. Translated by Jorge Ledezma
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