By Niall Ferguson
Day-by-day TELEGRAPH BOOKS OF THE 12 months If within the yr 1411 you were in a position to circumnavigate the globe, you are going to were such a lot inspired via the incredible civilizations of the Orient. The Forbidden urban was once lower than development in Ming Beijing; within the close to East, the Ottomans have been ultimate in on Constantinople. in contrast, England could have struck you as a depressing backwater ravaged by way of plague, undesirable sanitation and relentless conflict. the opposite quarrelsome kingdoms of Western Europe - Aragon, Castile, France, Portugal and Scotland - could have appeared little greater. As for fifteenth-century North the USA, it was once an anarchic wasteland in comparison with the nation-states of the Aztecs and Incas. the concept the West may come to dominate the remainder for many of the following part millennium could have struck you as wildly fanciful. And but it occurred. What used to be it in regards to the civilization of Western Europe that allowed it to trump the outwardly stronger empires of the Orient? the reply, Niall Ferguson argues, used to be that the West built six "killer applications" that the remainder lacked: festival, technological know-how, democracy, medication, consumerism and the paintings ethic. the most important query at the present time is whether the West has misplaced its monopoly on those six issues. if that is so, Ferguson warns, we can be dwelling in the course of the finish of Western ascendancy. Civilization takes readers all alone impressive trip around the globe - from the Grand Canal at Nanjing to the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul; from Machu Picchu within the Andes to Shark Island, Namibia; from the proud towers of Prague to the key church buildings of Wenzhou. it's the tale of sailboats, missiles, land deeds, vaccines, blue denims and chinese language Bibles. it's the defining narrative of recent international background.