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Niall Ferguson is a scholar and this is a serious work of scholarship. I recommend it, but you can probably use fast forward or set your device to 3X during chapter 5 where he explains the theoretical constructs of his attack upon historical process.
Ferguson argues that historians for a range of reasons, examine hierarchies to explain the past. Wrong! At least that's the author's persuasive argument and he instead looks at relationship management to instead understand why historical events occurred. No, he doesn't argue that hierarchical research is invalid, but that it merely explains only part of the engine that's led us to this moment in time.
It's a fascinating premise, and except for chapter 5, he's quite clear and interesting as he applies his theory to so many epochs and tipping points. It's a thesis that resonates with me now and I'll look for it as I listen to other books.
It does take 17 hours though for Elliot Hill to read us this book. And though he reads it very well, I think that some sharpened-pencil editing could have either removed or abridged some of Ferguson's examples to achieve the same end.
For me though, this is an important book and finishing it has rewarded me. Be prepared though to study Ferguson as you listen to Hill.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
As Ferguson states, this is an honest (and, IMO, successful) attempt to reclaim the framing of world history as the result of big men and bigger institutions from that told by conspiracy theorists to those with rational perspective. An expertly narrated and well told enjoyable read.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful