Why the West Rules--for Now ペーパーバック – 2011/10/25
"Morris is a lucid thinker and a fine writer. . .possessed of a welcome sense of humor that helps him guide us through this grand game of history as if he were an erudite sportscaster." --Orville Schell, The New York Times Book Review"An excellent and amusing survey of the last [fifty] thousand years or so of human history." --Jane Smiley, The Washington Post "The greatest nonfiction book written in recent times." --The Business Standard "A pathbreaking work that lays out what modern history should look like....Entertaining and plausibly argued." --Harold James, Financial Times (London) "In an era when cautious academics too often confine themselves to niggling discussions of pipsqueak topics, it is a joy to see a scholar take a bold crack at explaining the vast sweep of human progress. . .
Readers of Why the West Rules--For Now are unlikely to see the history of the world in quite the same way ever again. And that can't be said of many books on any topic. Morris has penned a tour de force." --Keith Monroe, The Virginian-Pilot "Readers of Why the West Rules--For Now are unlikely to see the history of the world in quite the same way ever again. And that can't be said of many books on any topic. Morris has penned a tour de force." --Keith Monroe, The Virginian-Pilot "If you read one history book this year, if you read one this decade, this is the one." --Tim O' Connell, The Florida Times-Union "A monumental effort...Morris is an engaging writer with deep insights from archaeology and ancient history that offer us compelling visions about how the past influences the future." --Michael D. Langan, Buffalo News "A remarkable book that may come to be as widely read as Paul Kennedy's 1987 work, 'The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.' Like Mr Kennedy's epic, Mr Morris's 'Why the West Rules--For Now' uses history and an overarching theory to address the anxieties of the present . . . This is an important book--one that challenges, stimulates and entertains. Anyone who does not believe there are lessons to be learned from history should start here." --The Economist "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 . . . He has brilliantly pulled off what few modern academics would dare to attempt: a single-volume history of the world that offers a bold and original answer to the question, Why did the societies that make up 'the West' pull ahead of 'the Rest' not once but twice, and most spectacularly in the modern era after around 1500? Wearing his impressive erudition lightly -- indeed, writing with a wit and clarity that will delight the lay reader -- Morris uses his own ingenious index of social development as the basis for his answer." --Niall Ferguson, Foreign Affairs "A formidable, richly engrossing effort to determine why Western institutions dominate the world . . . Readers will enjoy [Morris's] lively prose and impressive combination of scholarship . . . with economics and science. A superior contribution to the grand-theory-of-human-history genre." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Ian Morris has returned history to the position it once held: no longer a series of dusty debates, nor simple stories--although he has many stories to tell and tells them brilliantly--but a true magister vitae, 'teacher of life.' Morris explains how the shadowy East-West divide came about, why it really does matter, and how one day it might end up. His vision is dazzling, and his prose irresistible. Everyone from Sheffield to Shanghai who wants to know not only how they came to be who and where they are but where their children and their children's children might one day end up must read this book." --Anthony Pagden, author of Worlds and War: The 2,500-Year Struggle Between East and West "This is an astonishing work by Ian Morris: hundreds of pages of the latest information dealing with every aspect of change. Then, the questions of the future: What will a new distribution bring about? Will Europe undergo a major change? Will the millions of immigrants impose a new set of rules on the rest? There was a time when Europe could absorb any and all newcomers. Now the newcomers may dictate the terms. The West may continue to rule, but the rule may be very different." --David S. Landes, author of The Wealth and Poverty of Nations "Here you have three books wrapped into one: an exciting novel that happens to be true; an entertaining but thorough historical account of everything important that happened to any important people in the last ten millennia; and an educated guess about what will happen in the future. Read, learn, and enjoy!" --Jared Diamond, Professor of Geography at UCLA, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, and Natural Experiments of History "Ian Morris is a classical archaeologist, an ancient historian, and a writer whose breathtaking vision and scope make him fit to be ranked alongside the likes of Jared Diamond and David Landes. His magnum opus is a tour not just d'horizon but de force, taking us on a spectacular journey to and from the two nodal cores of the Euramerican West and the Asian East, alighting and reflecting as suggestively upon 10,800 BC as upon AD 2010. The shape of globalizing history may well never be quite the same again." --Paul Cartledge, A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, Clare College "At last--a brilliant historian with a light touch. We should all rejoice." --John Julius Norwich "Deeply thought-provoking and engagingly lively, broad in sweep and precise in detail." --Jonathan Fenby, author of Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 to the Present "Morris's history of world dominance sparkles as much with exotic ideas as with extraordinary tales. Why the West Rules--for Now is both a riveting drama and a major step toward an integrated theory of history." --Richard Wrangham, author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human "The nearest thing to a unified field theory of history we are ever likely to get. With wit and wisdom, Ian Morris deploys the techniques and insights of the new ancient history to address the biggest of all historical questions: Why on earth did the West beat the Rest? I loved it." --Niall Ferguson, author of The Ascent of Money
IAN MORRIS is Willard Professor of Classics and History at Stanford University. He has published ten scholarly books, including, most recently, The Dynamics of Ancient Empires, and has directed excavations in Greece and Italy. He lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California.
- 出版社 : Picador Paper; Reprint版 (2011/10/25)
- 発売日 : 2011/10/25
- 言語 : 英語
- ペーパーバック : 768ページ
- ISBN-10 : 0312611692
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312611699
- 寸法 : 14.15 x 4.88 x 20.7 cm
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: - 269,164位洋書 (の売れ筋ランキングを見る洋書)
また文明発展の原動力は SLOTH、FEAR、GREED だと言うが説得力のある言葉である。楽をしたい気持ち、恐れる対象があること、強欲に利益を得たいという気持ちが人をしてリスクをとり、積極的に前にすすむ原動力だと言っている。現代の企業の成功、個人の成功の元も確かに同じ原理が働いているように思う。
Ian Morris is more than anything else an archaeologist so I suppose the attention he gives to early history is understandable. And he writes clearly and concisely, bringing in some interesting incidental detail and references to popular culture’s take on the past which definitely makes the narrative more engaging than it would otherwise be. Any attempt to condense world history into a single volume is inevitably constrained by the construct used, but although the focus on ‘East’ and ‘West’ marginalises the great Inca, Aztec and Mayan civilisations in the Americas, the author’s approach fundamentally works pretty well (and better for example than the Peter Frankopan book The Silk Roads which almost completely ignores the Industrial Revolution, to date arguably the most significant event in human history, only because it doesn’t fit into his thesis). Ian Morris also addresses something that has bugged me ever since reading the totally Western-oriented account of scientific discovery contained in Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything: namely the extent to which the same breakthroughs were occurring independently in Asia. The answer in the 18th and 19th centuries - for reasons which are well articulated - genuinely seems to be: not very much.
To conclude: there is much to admire about this book and the author’s scholarship is highly impressive; just be warned that it goes way beyond the subject matter of its title.
That's what this book mainly does. For me, the East vs. West thing is a lesser part of the story. Here is a book that tells the tale of humanity, from monkey to cyborg. A book that connects history into a joined-up narrative.
It explains how human drives interacted with the environment - climate, geography, resources - to create the various institutions and lifestyles that characterized each different civilization. It shows how progress sows the seeds of trouble for itself, how development often hits a 'ceiling' and falls back several times until a specific innovation in technology or politics can break through.
When reading it I had alternate feelings of astounding luck and ominous dread:
Luck to be living at this time, when most of history is filled with violence, hardship, disease and oppression. (I lost count of the cumulative death toll from these causes, but it definitely runs into the billions)
Dread at what the author predicts for the future, where development is accelerating at an exponential rate, and a gentle leveling-off just isn't going to happen (it never does). It's techno-utopia or bust (really big bust, loads more billions dead).
If traditional history books aren't really for you then don't be put off. This is well worth the read for anyone who is interested in sociology, politics, technology or anthropology (in fact it may make you want to learn more about these subjects and to link them in your mind).
It's much more about trends and causality than about great individual characters - in fact it downplays individual greatness and ego, stating that each age inevitably generates the people and thought that it needs.
I really enjoyed it and would recommend.
The book would benefit from more detail about the rise of the Indian subcontinent and where it's role stood in between Europe and China to complete the historical narrative and whether it is more within the European or Indian sphere!
The final chapter on where the future of mankind is headed was not particularly insightful although contained some interesting theories. Writing this "post-brexit" I hope the author is wrong about his theory on "nightfall"!