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In 1412, Europe was a miserable backwater ravaged by plague, bad sanitation and incessant war, while the Orient was home to dazzling civilizations. Yet, somehow, the West came to dominate the Rest for most of the next half millennium.
In this vital, brilliant book, Niall Ferguson reveals the six 'killer applications' that the Rest lacked: competition, science, property rights, medicine, consumerism and the work ethic. And he asks: do we still have these winning tools? Or is this the end of Western ascendancy?
'Brilliantly written, full of wit and virtuosity, stuffed with memorable lines and gorgeous bits of information. A great read' The Times
'A dazzling history of Western ideas ... epic' Economist
'Vivid and fascinating' Daily Telegraph
'Superb ... brings history alive ... dazzling' Independent
'This is sharp. It feels urgent. Ferguson ... twists his knife with great literary brio' Andrew Marr, Financial Times