The war of the world: history's age of hatred

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Penguin Books, Limited, 2006 - History - 745 pages
6 Reviews
Niall Fergusson's most important book to date-a revolutionary reinterpretation of the modern era that resolves its central paradox: why unprecedented progress coincided with unprecedented violence and why the seeming triumph of the West bore the seeds of its undoing. From the conflicts that presaged the First World War to the aftershocks of the cold war, the twentieth century was by far the bloodiest in all of human history. How can we explain the astonishing scale and intensity of its violence when, thanks to the advances of science and economics, most people were better off than ever before-eating better, growing taller, and living longer? Wherever one looked, the world in 1900 offered the happy prospect of ever-greater interconnection. Why, then, did global progress descend into internecine war and genocide? Drawing on a pioneering combination of history, economics, and evolutionary theory, Niall Ferguson-one of "Time" magazine's "100 Most Influential People"-masterfully examines what he calls the age of hatred and sets out to explain what went wrong with modernity. On a quest that takes him from the Siberian steppe to the plains of Poland, from the streets of Sarajevo to the beaches of Okinawa, Ferguson reveals an age turned upside down by economic volatility, multicultural communities torn apart by the irregularities of boom and bust, an era poisoned by the idea of irreconcilable racial differences, and a struggle between decaying old empires and predatory new states. Who won the war of the world? We tend to assume it was the West. Some even talk of the American century. But for Ferguson, the biggest upshot of twentieth-century upheaval was the decline of Western dominance overAsia. A work of revelatory interpretive power, "The War of the World" is Niall Ferguson's masterwork.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gmicksmith - LibraryThing

For many, World War II is the ultimate story of the West and its triumph over evil; however, Ferguson rather incongruously at first glance postulates the bloody 20th Century as the decline of the West ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RajivC - LibraryThing

This is a very good book indeed. I like the way that he writes, and clearly builds up the entire momentum of events leading up to World War I and World War II. The book has clearly been researched ... Read full review

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Contents

List of Illustrations
xiii
Introduction
xxxiii
Empires and Races
3
Orient Express
43
Fault Lines
72
The Contagion of War
109
Graves of Nations
141
PART 11
148
The Pity of Peace
345
Through the Looking Glass
416
Killers and Collaborators
439
The Gates of Hell
466
The Osmosis of War
505
Kaputt
553
The Descent
596
The War of
647

The Plan
189
Strange Folk
221
An Incidental Empire
277
Defending the Indefensible
312
Sources and Bibliography
655
Acknowledgements jot
707
Copyright

About the author (2006)

Niall Ferguson was born April 18, 1964, in Glasgow. He is a Scottish historian. He specializes in financial and economic history as well as the history of empire. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and the William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. His books include Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation 1897-1927 (1993), Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals (1997), The Pity of War: Explaining World War One (1998), The World's Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild (1998), The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000 (2001), Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (2003), Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire (2004), The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (2006) and The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (2008) and Civilization: The West and the Rest (2011).

Bibliographic information