This title was selected for the "Daily Telegraph" Books Of The
Year. If in the year 1411 you had been able to circumnavigate the
globe and compare the dazzling civilizations of the Orient with
Europe and North America, the idea that the West would dominate the
Rest for most of the next half millennium would have struck you as
wildly fanciful. So how did it happen? The answer, Ferguson argues,
was the West's development of six 'killer applications':
competition, science, democracy, medicine, consumerism and the work
ethic. But has the West now lost its monopoly on these six things?
If so, are we living through the end of Western ascendancy?