Not only is Why the West Rules — for Now the bedside reading of Niall Ferguson, but The Economist has just named Ian Morris‘s weighty tome as one of the top books of 2010: “An entertaining and plausible book by a British historian at Stanford University that shows how debates about the rise of China or the fall of the West are ultimately a sideshow, as nature will bite back savagely at human society.” (We wrote about it here and here.)
The Economist reviewed the book last October: “Ian Morris, a polymathic Stanford University professor of classics and history, has written 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.”
Also receiving The Economist‘s best-of-the-year praise — in fact, right above the Why the West Rules, is Timothy Snyder‘s Bloodlands: “How Stalin and Hitler enabled each other’s crimes and killed 14m people between the Baltic and the Black Sea. A lifetime’s work by a Yale University historian who deserves to be read and reread.” (Bloodlands was discussed on The Book Haven a few weeks ago, with Norman Naimark‘s Stalin’s Genocides, and again here.)
In the spirit of Morris’s book, if you’d like to watch ten centuries roll by in five minutes — click “play” below. We think it’s kind of fun.