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In this page-turning, myth-busting history, acclaimed author Rodney Stark shows exactly why Western civilization triumphed over other cultures-and why we all should be thankful it did.
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 look at Western civilization.
Taking readers on a thrilling journey from ancient Greece to the present, Stark challenges much of the received wisdom about Western history. How the West Won shows, for example:
- Why the fall of Rome was the single most beneficial event in the rise of Western civilization
- Why the “Dark Ages” never happened
- Why the Crusades had nothing to do with grabbing loot or attacking the Muslim world unprovoked
- Why there was no “Scientific Revolution” in the seventeenth century
- Why 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 Aristotle
Stark 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.
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.
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