The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die

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9780143125525: The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die

The decline of the West is something that has long been prophesied. Symptoms of decline are all around us today, it seems: slowing growth, crushing debts, aging populations, anti-social behaviour. 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: these were once the four pillars of West European and North American societies. It was these institutions, rather than any geographical or climatic advantages, that set the West on the path to global dominance after around 1500. In our time, however, these institutions have deteriorated in disturbing ways. Our democracies have broken the contract between the generations by heaping IOUs on our children and grandchildren. Our markets are increasingly distorted by over-complex regulations that are in fact the disease of which they purport to be the cure. The rule of law has metamorphosed into the rule of lawyers. And civil society has degenerated into uncivil society, where we lazily expect all our problems to be solved by the state. "The Degeneration of the West" a powerful - and in places polemical - 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, Europeans and Americans alike are frittering away the institutional inheritance of centuries. To arrest the degeneration of the West's once dominant civilization, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform. This book is based on Niall Ferguson's 2012 BBC Reith Lectures, which were broadcast under the title "The Rule of Law and Its Enemies".

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Review:

Brilliantly written, full of wit and virtuosity, stuffed with memorable lines and gorgeous bits of information. A great read ( The Times (on Civilization))

A dazzling history of Western ideas ... epic ( Economist)

This is sharp. It feels urgent. Ferguson... twists his knife with great literary brio (Andrew Marr (on Civilization))

A masterpiece ... fascinating facts burst like fireworks on every page ( Sunday Times)

Brings history alive for the reader with a dazzling knowledge ... peerless ( Independent on Sunday)

About the Author:

Niall Ferguson is the bestselling author of Civilization, High Financier, The Ascent of Money, The War of the World, Colossus, Empire, The Cash Nexus, The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild and Paper and Iron. He has also written and presented a number of major television series for Channel Four and writes regularly for newspapers and magazines around the world.

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 196 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A searching and provocative examination of the widespread institutional rot that threatens our collective future What causes rich countries to lose their way? Symptoms of decline are all around us today: slowing growth, crushing debts, increasing inequality, aging populations, antisocial behavior. But what exactly has gone wrong? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues in The Great Degeneration, is that our institutions the intricate frameworks within which a society can flourish or fail are degenerating. With characteristic verve and historical insight, Ferguson analyzes the causes of this stagnation and its profound consequences for the future of the West. The Great Degeneration is an incisive indictment of an era of negligence and complacency and to arrest the breakdown of our civilization, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780143125525

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Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 196 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A searching and provocative examination of the widespread institutional rot that threatens our collective future What causes rich countries to lose their way? Symptoms of decline are all around us today: slowing growth, crushing debts, increasing inequality, aging populations, antisocial behavior. But what exactly has gone wrong? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues in The Great Degeneration, is that our institutions the intricate frameworks within which a society can flourish or fail are degenerating. With characteristic verve and historical insight, Ferguson analyzes the causes of this stagnation and its profound consequences for the future of the West. The Great Degeneration is an incisive indictment of an era of negligence and complacency and to arrest the breakdown of our civilization, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780143125525

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