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Why the West Rules - For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future download epub

by Ian Morris


Epub Book: 1169 kb. | Fb2 Book: 1955 kb.

Morris' new book illustrates perfectly why one really scholarly book about the past is worth a hundred fanciful works of futurology. Unlike Diamond, Morris does not think geography gave the West a long-term lock-in for rule.

Morris' new book illustrates perfectly why one really scholarly book about the past is worth a hundred fanciful works of futurology. Morris is the world's most talented ancient historian, a man as much at home with state-of-the-art archaeology as with the classics as they used to be studied. Rather, as social development changes over time, it changes the meaning of geography, as technology and accumulated learning allows people to discover advantages in peripheral areas. Indeed, the East surpassed the West in development for around 1200 years until the late 18th century.

Start by marking Why the West Rules-for Now: The Patterns . Like Diamond, Morris set out to understand why what today is called the West has dominated the planet for at least the past two centuries.

Start by marking Why the West Rules-for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. 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 view of the course of human history, reaching back 15,000 years and venturing into the 22nd Century.

Why the West Rules-For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future is a history book by a British historian Ian Morris, published in 2010. The book compares East and West across the last 15,000 years, arguing that physical geography rather than culture, religion, politics, genetics, or great men explains Western domination of the globe.

reveal about the future, Profile Books LTD London 2010; ISBN 978 1 84668. The historical patterns Morris claims to have discovered are used to explain. To those reading the book primarily with that question in. mind many chapters will be irrelevant. 147 9. Many positive things can be said about this book. historical developments. The book is full of statements about their likelihood, probability or near inevitability. 501, 572 and 575-577.

Ian Morris is Willard professor of classics, professor of history and a fellow of the Archaeology Centre at. .Since we are all about the same, it is really geography, rather than culture or genetics, that explains why the West rules.

Ian Morris is Willard professor of classics, professor of history and a fellow of the Archaeology Centre at Stanford University. This is his first trade book. While this might seem to be simply a redux of Jared Diamond's argument in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Morris's arguments are more complex and persuasive.

Ian Morris’ Why the West Rules is a somewhat similar exercise on a much larger scale. What he has done is pull together all the data he can to try and quantify the social and economic development of different parts of the globe over a very long period indeed. Using this data he can assess how they are doing compared to one another. The work involved must have been huge and I don’t doubt that Morris would have loved to have written a book about the process.

In 1776, James Watt described a steam engine he had invented as rather successful. This, reckons Ian Morris in this huge and absorbing book, is the second-greatest understatement of all 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

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.

It follows that the reasons the west rules for now are to be found entirely . The book's assumptions can be strangely dated.

It follows that the reasons the west rules for now are to be found entirely (his word) in brute, material forces. As for Morris's much-vaunted revelations about the future, so simple to predict now he has his grid, they come down to the need to avoid nuclear and environmental catastrophe so that history can continue. On his bleakly deterministic interpretation of our lives, it is not too clear why we should want that.

amp; International Society

Why does the West rule? In this magnum opus, eminent Stanford polymath Ian Morris answers this provocative question, drawing on 50,000 years of history, archeology, and the methods of social science, to make sense of when, how, and why the paths of development differed in the East and West — and what this portends for the 21st century.There are two broad schools of thought on why the West rules. Proponents of "Long-Term Lock-In" theories such as Jared Diamond suggest that from time immemorial, some critical factor — geography, climate, or culture perhaps — made East and West unalterably different, and determined that the industrial revolution would happen in the West and push it further ahead of the East. But the East led the West between 500 and 1600, so this development can't have been inevitable; and so proponents of "Short-Term Accident" theories argue that Western rule was a temporary aberration that is now coming to an end, with Japan, China, and India resuming their rightful places on the world stage. However, as the West led for 9,000 of the previous 10,000 years, it wasn't just a temporary aberration. So, if we want to know why the West rules, we need a whole new theory. Ian Morris, boldly entering the turf of Jared Diamond and Niall Ferguson, provides the broader approach that is necessary, combining the textual historian's focus on context, the anthropological archaeologist's awareness of the deep past, and the social scientist's comparative methods to make sense of the past, present, and future — in a way no one has ever done before.

Comments: (7)

Washington
This has immediately become one of my favorite books. I'm a fan of "big history" and, thanks to his background in archaeology and incredible command of narrative history, Ian Morris goes about as big as you can get: starting from the beginning at the dawn of humanity to explain why the West rules. Going so far back is part of Morris's design to examine Western rule with greater rigor than most, first explaining what it means to rule (to have greater social development, that is the ability to get things done) and the division of West in East in prehistory. He further demonstrates that all humans are essentially the same and operate based on fear, laziness, and greed. Since we are all about the same, it is really geography, rather than culture or genetics, that explains why the West rules.

While this might seem to be simply a redux of Jared Diamond's argument in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Morris's arguments are more complex and persuasive. Unlike Diamond, Morris does not think geography gave the West a long-term lock-in for rule. Rather, as social development changes over time, it changes the meaning of geography, as technology and accumulated learning allows people to discover advantages in peripheral areas. Indeed, the East surpassed the West in development for around 1200 years until the late 18th century. Morris further contends that although Western rule was very probable after the 14th century or so, the East had chances to keep its lead into the present before them.

Like many writers of "big history," Morris sees humankind's path as being determined by impersonal forces of nature, geography, and biology, perhaps to the chagrin of historians/history buffs that prefer greater human agency. Morris addresses this convincingly, showing that people do have agency, but usually only over the timing of shifts that dictated by greater forces. However, he proposes that as social development is rising more rapidly than ever before, the world is much smaller, and people--namely world leaders--are poised to have a greater impact on the course of history than ever before. Considering the state of world leadership in 2017, this is a dark prospect. Made all the darker still by Morris's final conclusion that the next few decades are likely to be perhaps the most important in history, as we are poised to either reach transhuman levels of development, or hit a very hard development ceiling that could spell doom.

I hope I've illustrated that I think this is an important book. It explains not only history, but the challenges that are ahead. Morris is also an incredible writer, never losing your attention as he covers centuries in paragraphs. He also has a lively sense of humor and grasp of popular culture. I especially appreciated his references to Isaac Asimov's work, especially his Foundation series, which has strikingly similar themes to Why the West Rules.
Hrguig
This is one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time, even if the author's arguments don't always convince me entirely. But he does attempt an heroic task -- explaining the broadest rhythms of human history -- and he does offer brilliant exposition. Also, the book is a pleasure to read: Morris is an entertaining and sometimes amusing writer whose prose is refreshingly free of academese. What's best about the book, I think, is its presentation of history outside the narrow confines in which we in the West tend to think -- "modern" European history, i.e. European and North American history since the Renaissance. Morris shows that other cultures have shown parallel patterns, in the process teaching me a great deal that I did not know about ancient history apart from the Greeks and Romans, and about Chinese history. The tool that he uses to compare different cultures is an index of social development: he recognizes that there are a whole lot of questions about this, but in general offers it as a very rough and imprecise measure: as a metaphor, I can live with it. The final section of the book, on where we go from here, was interesting (and scary) though I found it a bit less gripping that Morris's views on where we have been. All in all, and enjoyable and mind-opening book.
SkroN
A 14,000 year review of human history using a value called social development. He gives the year 2000 a base value of 1000 divided into four categories: urbanism, energy, communication and military. Each gets 250 points. History starts in 14,000BCE with a 4 or 5 score while today society gets a score of over 1000. Almost all this gain has been in the last 250 years. Progress has been ragged and often runs into ceilings and drops back for several centuries ( like the dark ages). He then uses this score in graph form and explains what was going on historically to give these results.

he then takes it a step further to compare Western (Middle east to USA) and Eastern ( China) civilizations. We watch the lines run parallel for a long period and diverge and crossover and he this way we have a race. He explains key historical events and shows how that shows up in the values and on the graphs. All very good and very informative and unique to see history told this way.

But in parts there is too much detail and thus the book is excessively long, over 600 pages. I had to speed read at least 200-250 pages and I don't think I lost anything. In fact on reviewing the book I am convinced I didn't miss anything of much value by my skimming vast sections.

He then looks into the future using his developed theories of what contributes to society and its development and hence its history. He acknowledges others who have gone before him in this endeavor, notably the geographer Jared Diamond author of Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse ( I have also read and recommend these excellent books) His look into the future relies heavily on the dominant progress of technology and mirrors what others have said about robots, artificial intelligence, mind/machine merger etc. It is interesting to see how similar the thoughts on the future are among historians, sociologists, neuro scientists , technologists and futurists.

So if you can speed read parts that would otherwise bog you down, while stopping and pondering the significant things the author has to say and those parts that spark your interest, this book is a good and worthwhile read. In other words I would urge you to read discriminatingly and not compulsory. Everything he says does not have equal value or is necessary to know for the reader.
Why the West Rules - For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future download epub
World
Author: Ian Morris
ISBN: 0771064551
Category: History
Subcategory: World
Language: English
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (October 12, 2010)
Pages: 768 pages