How 'The West' Beat 'The Rest': Six Killer Apps

Play associated audio

Historians have long struggled to explain how the West became the preeminent political and economic force in the modern world, and why so many people aspire to emulate the lifestyles, fashions, and popular culture of America and Western Europe.

In his new book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, historian Niall Ferguson credits six "killer apps." He argues that Western countries developed a unique set of social institutions, from competition and the rule of law to modern science, a unique work ethic and a thriving consumer society, that enabled them to surpass their non-Western neighbors.

But China, he says, is quickly catching on — and catching up.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Lisa Lucas Takes The Reins At The National Book Foundation

Lucas is the third executive director in the history of the foundation, which runs the National Book Awards. Her priority? Inclusivity: "Everyone is either a reader or a potential reader," she says.
NPR

The Shocking Truth About America's Ethanol Law: It Doesn't Matter (For Now)

Ted Cruz doesn't like the law that requires the use of ethanol in gasoline. So what would happen if it was abolished? The surprising answer: not much, probably.
WAMU 88.5

The Latest on the Military, Political and Humanitarian Crises in Syria

Russia continues airstrikes in Syria. Secretary Kerry meets with world leaders in an attempt to resolve the country’s five-year civil war. A panel joins Diane to discuss the latest on the military, political and humanitarian crises facing Syria.

NPR

Twitter Tries A New Kind Of Timeline By Predicting What May Interest You

Twitter has struggled to attract new users. Its latest effort at rejuvenation is a new kind of timeline that predicts which older posts you might not want to miss and displays them on top.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.