The War Of The World: Twentieth-century Conflict And The Descent Of The West by Niall FergusonThe War Of The World: Twentieth-century Conflict And The Descent Of The West by Niall Ferguson

The War Of The World: Twentieth-century Conflict And The Descent Of The West

byNiall Ferguson

Paperback | October 30, 2007

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Astonishing in its scope and erudition, this is the magnum opus that Niall Ferguson's numerous acclaimed works have been leading up to. In it, he grapples with perhaps the most challenging questions of modern history: Why was the twentieth century history's bloodiest by far? Why did unprecedented material progress go hand in hand with total war and genocide? His quest for new answers takes him from the walls of Nanjing to the bloody beaches of Normandy, from the economics of ethnic cleansing to the politics of imperial decline and fall. The result, as brilliantly written as it is vital, is a great historian's masterwork.

Niall Ferguson's new book The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook will be published in January 2018.
Niall Ferguson is one of the world's most renowned historians. He is the author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire, Colossus, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, High Financier, Civilization, The Great Degeneration, Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, and The Square and the Tower....
Title:The War Of The World: Twentieth-century Conflict And The Descent Of The WestFormat:PaperbackDimensions:880 pages, 8.4 × 5.4 × 1.5 inPublished:October 30, 2007Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143112392

ISBN - 13:9780143112396

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Was Vegetius correct? I read this book not only for pleasure, but also for my Anthropology course. Although my review for the research assignment exceeded ten pages, I will review Niall Ferguson’s intellectually stimulating book in few words here. Niall Ferguson is indisputably one of the greatest historians of our time. He has entered the realm of controversy on several occasions with great pride and witty ingenuity by openly supporting several conservative causes, and tackling such grave subjects the legendary British Empire on, the might of America and the Rothschild dynasty. He was also one of the few economists to warn of a calamitous economic recession in which we find ourselves today; and he did so with launching a highly-readable “The Ascent of Money.” Recently, he has also written a definitive book on what made the West triumph, while the Rest failed in “Civilization: the West and the Rest.” Such works as “The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West” tend to be rather chaotic, esoteric academic works, suitable only to connoisseurs of history and politics, such as this reviewer. Yet by not employing too florid a language and breaking down pivotal subjects into small readable chapters, Ferguson brings the twentieth century before the readers’ eyes. The crux of the book is not merely facts and figures which can be found in any similar book, but personal experiences of the people who lived in those turbulent times. In his exceedingly ambitious and paramount work, the author creates a gruesome tapestry of violence and begins by asking, “What made the twentieth century, particularly years from 1904 until 1953, so bloody?” It does not take long for him to answer this rather complex question. There were three main reasons for an inexplicable slaughter of the twentieth century: ethnic conflict, economic volatility and empires in decline. Although other important events of the twentieth century are rigorously explained in Ferguson’s work, all these events revolve around the Second War World. The first forty of years of the century was equivalent to a big balloon, with further helium gas – in another word, hatred - being added to it. In 1939, however, the fragile balloon exploded and carnage and butchery on an unprecedented scale commenced. My only problem with this work is that the author paid too much attention to first fifty years, which took more than 600 pages, and yet the last fifty years of the turbulent century have been heaped together in mere 70 or so pages of Epilogue, including the Cuba Crises; the rise and fall of Chairman Mao, then the liberalization of Chinese economy under Deng Xiaoping; the rise of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan; fall of Berlin Wall; and collapse of Soviet Union, hence, socialism. After reading this book and pondering further as to what makes us so cruel to members of our own species, Vegetius’ immortal quote springs readily to mind, “Si vis pacem, para bellum [If you wish peace, prepare for war].”
Date published: 2012-04-08

Editorial Reviews

"A heartbreaking, serious and thoughtful survey of human evil that is utterly fascinating and dramatic . . . superb narrative history." -The New York Times Book Review "Ferguson's best book, by far, since The Pity of War . . . from bond markets to the face of battle, he has returned to the themes of his earlier book and to his strengths." -Paul Kennedy, The New York Review of Books "Wielding at once the encyclopedic knowledge of an accomplished scholar and the engaging prose of a master storyteller, Ferguson commendably brings fresh insights to a history by now familiar. . . . A tour de force." -San Francisco Chronicle "Even those who have read widely in 20th-century history will find fresh, surprising details." -The Boston Globe "A fascinating read, thanks to Ferguson's gifts as a writer of clear, energetic narrative history." -The Washington Post