Finally, the truth
about the rise of the West
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 discovered, 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 history.
How the West Won shows, for example:
Why the fall of Rome was the single most beneficial event in the rise of Western
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
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. 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
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. Download and start listening now!