Modernity developed only in the West - in Europe and North America. Nowhere else did science and democracy arise; nowhere else was slavery outlawed. Only Westerners invented chimneys, musical scores, telescopes, eyeglasses, pianos, electric lights, aspirin, and soap. The question is, why? Unfortunately, that question has become so politically incorrect that most scholars avoid it. But acclaimed author Rodney Stark provides the answers in this sweeping new look at Western civilization.
How the West Won demonstrates the primacy of uniquely Western ideas - among them the belief in free will, the commitment to the pursuit of knowledge, the notion that the universe functions according to rational rules that can be discovered, and the emphasis on human freedom and secure property rights. How the West Won displays Stark's gifts for lively narrative history and making the latest scholarship accessible to all. This bold, insightful book will force you to rethink your understanding of the West and the birth of modernity - and to recognize that Western civilization really has set itself apart from other cultures.
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Unquestionably the worst history I have ever read.
I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
One Hundred Years of Solitude. Actual literature, not like this.
All of it.
This book is a cheesy patchwork of cheap rhetorical tricks, self-contradictions, ad hominem attacks on historians, Anglo-Saxon boosterism, religious bigotry, and conspiracy theories.
- Robert W.
NEWS FLASH! Western Civilation is not EVIL!
We Euro-types (especially males) take a beating in popular media these days. It's a kind of sport, really, for the others, and our own masochists. If all that is getting you down, or you sense it isn't quite true, listen to this.
I see the rants on popular web sites, and they are okay as a quick antidote to our daily poison. Kind of a sugar rush, I suppose. This book, on the other hand, has real meat on it, and is served without flash, fanfare, or chest-beating.
Scholarly presentation... totally devoid of sensationalism.
I know (knew?) nearly nothing of The Crusades. I did not realize 'The West' was so noble then.
- Eric James Johnson