> Skip to content

How the West's six 'killer apps' transformed the history of the world.

In 1412, Europe was a miserable backwater ravaged by plague, bad sanitation and incessant war, while the Orient was home to dazzling civilizations. Yet, somehow, the West came to dominate the Rest for most of the next half millennium.

In this vital, brilliant book, Niall Ferguson reveals the six 'killer applications' that the Rest lacked: competition, science, property rights, medicine, consumerism and the work ethic. And he asks: do we still have these winning tools? Or is this the end of Western ascendancy?

Winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize 2013

Reviews

Brilliantly written, full of wit and virtuosity, stuffed with memorable lines and gorgeous bits of information. A great read

The Times

A dazzling history of Western ideas . . . epic

Economist

Vivid and fascinating

DailyTelegraph

Superb . . . brings history alive . . . dazzling

Independent

This is sharp. It feels urgent. Ferguson . . . twists his knife with great literary brio

Andrew Marr, Financial Times

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780141987934

    June 18, 2018

    Penguin Press

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Paperback

    9780141044583

    June 5, 2012

    Penguin Press

    402 pages

    RRP $27.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au