How the West won : the neglected story of the triumph of modernity
- Rodney Stark.
- Wilmington, Delaware : ISI Books, 
- Copyright notice
- Physical description
- vi, 455 pages ; 24 cm
- Stark, Rodney author.
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 401-432) and index.
- Part I. Classical Beginnings (500 BC-AD 500)
- Stagnant Empires and the Greek "Miracle"
- Jerusalem's Rational God
- The Roman Interlude
- Part II. The Not-So-Dark Ages (500-1200)
- The Blessings of Disunity
- Northern Lights over Christendom
- Freedom and Capitalism
- Part III. Medieval Transformations (1200-1500)
- Climate, Plague, and Social Change
- The Pursuit of Knowledge
- Industry, Trade, and Technology
- Discovering the World
- Part IV. The Dawn of Modernity (1500-1750)
- New World Conquests and Colonies
- The Golden Empire
- The Lutheran Reformation : Myths and Realities
- Exposing Muslim Illusions
- Science Comes of Age
- Part V. Modernity (1750- )
- The Industrial Revolution
- Liberty and Prosperity
- Globalization and Colonialism.
- Publisher's Summary
- 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 dis--covered, and the emphasis on human freedom and secure property rights.Taking readers on a thrilling journey from ancient Greece to the present, Stark challenges much of the received wisdom about Western his--tory. How the West Won shows, for example:Why the fall of Rome was the single most beneficial event in the rise of Western civilizationWhy the "Dark Ages" never happenedWhy the Crusades had nothing to do with grabbing loot or attacking the Muslim world unprovokedWhy there was no "Scientific Revolution" in the seventeenth centuryWhy scholars' recent efforts to dismiss the importance of battles are ridiculous: had the Greeks lost at the Battle of Marathon, we probably would never have heard of Plato or AristotleStark also debunks absurd fabrications that have flourished in the past few decades: that the Greeks stole their culture from Africa; that the West's "discoveries" were copied from the Chinese and Muslims; that Europe became rich by plundering the non-Western world. At the same time, he reveals the woeful inadequacy of recent attempts to attribute the rise of the West to purely material causes--favorable climates, abundant natural resources, guns and steel.How the West Won displays Rodney Stark's gifts for lively narrative history and making the latest scholarship accessible to all readers. 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.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)9781610170857 20180604
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