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About the book
  • Published: 14 March 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141975238
  • Imprint: Portfolio
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.99

The Great Degeneration

How Institutions Decay And Economies Die


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The Great Degeneration is a powerful indictment of an era of negligence and complacency. To stop us frittering away the institutional inheritance of centuries, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform.

The decline of the West is something that has long been prophesied. Symptoms of decline are all around us today: slowing growth, crushing debts, ageing populations. But what exactly is amiss with Western civilization? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues, is that the institutions that were once the four pillars of Western society - representative government, the free market, the rule of law and civil society - are degenerating.
The Great Degeneration is a powerful indictment of an era of negligence and complacency. To stop us frittering away the institutional inheritance of centuries, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform.
'A refreshing perspective on the economic decline of advanced countries and the origins of the crisis' Samuel Brittan, Financial Times

'He writes with splendid panache and a seemingly effortless, debonair wit' The Times
'One of the most incisive writers of history, politics and economics today' Sunday Telegraph
'Niall Ferguson has transformed the intellectual landscape' Economist
%%%Niall Ferguson's bold, pithy and insightful analysis of the degeneration of the West
The decline of the West is something that has long been prophesied. Symptoms of decline are all around us today: slowing growth, crushing debts, aging populations. But what exactly is amiss with Western civilization? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues, is that our institutions - the intricate frameworks within which a society can flourish or fail - are degenerating.
Representative government, the free market, the rule of law and civil society were once the four pillars of West European and North American societies. In our time, however, these institutions have deteriorated. The Great Degeneration is a powerful indictment of an era of negligence and complacency. While the Arab world struggles to adopt democracy, and while China struggles to move from economic liberalization to the rule of law, the West is frittering away the institutional inheritance of centuries. To arrest the decline, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform.
Reviews:
'A refreshing perspective on the economic decline of advanced countries and the origins of the crisis' Samuel Brittan, Financial Times
'A compelling and cogently argued work' Times Higher Education
About the author:
Niall Ferguson is one of Britain'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 and Civilization. He has written and presented six highly successful television series for Channel Four: Empire, American Colossus, The War of the World, The Ascent of Money, Civilization and China: Triumph and Turmoil.

  • Pub date: 14 March 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141975238
  • Imprint: Portfolio
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson is one of Britain's most renowned historians. He is a Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. The bestselling author of Paper and Iron, The House of Rothschild, The Pity of War, The Cash Nexus, Empire and Colossus, he also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world. Since 2003 he has written and presented three highly successful television documentary series for Channel Four: Empire, American Colossus and, most recently, The War of the World. He, his wife and three children divide their time between the United Kingdom and the United States.

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