How the West won The neglected story of the triumph of modernity

Rodney Stark

Sound recording - 2014

"In this page-turning, myth-busting history, acclaimed author Rodney Stark shows exactly why Western civilization triumphed over other cultures--and why we all should be thankful it did."--From the Publisher.

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COMPACT DISC/909.09821/Stark
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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor COMPACT DISC/909.09821/Stark Due Dec 9, 2023
[Old Saybrook, Conn.] : Tantor Media [2014]
Prince Frederick, MD : [2014]
Main Author
Rodney Stark (author)
Other Authors
Kevin (Voice actor) Foley (narrator)
Physical Description
12 audio discs : digital ; 4 3/4 in
  • pt. I. Classical beginnings (500 BC - AD 500)
  • Stagnant empires and Greek miracle
  • Jerusalem's rational God
  • Roman interlude
  • pt. II. The not so Dark Ages (500-1200)
  • Blessings of disunity
  • Northern lights over Christendom
  • Freedom and Capitalism
  • pt. III. Medieval transformations (1200-1500)
  • Climate, plague, and social change
  • Pursuit of knowledge
  • Industry, trade, and technology
  • Discovering the world
  • pt. IV. The dawn of modernity (1500-1750)
  • Exposing Muslim illusions
  • Science comes of Age
  • pt. V. Modernity (1700- )
  • Industrial revolution
  • Liberty and prosperity
  • Globalization and Colonialism.
Review by Choice Review

The title of this book explains its mission--to glorify the accomplishments of Western Christian civilization, which Stark, a sociologist at Baylor University, feels to have been neglected of late. He skims through 2,500 years of history, cherry-picking events that seem to support his point of view and skipping over others. Historians with whom he disagrees are "silly," "nutty," and/or "politically correct." He sets up straw men and gleefully knocks them down. Among his many sweeping assertions is that the Dark Ages was not dark at all but a creative period full of the type of violent warfare that leads to technological innovation. (Much better than the boring Pax Romana.) Capitalism was first practiced in medieval monasteries, and the scientific revolution did not take place in the early modern period but among Christian natural philosophers of the Middle Ages. In fact, Stark says, the scientific revolution was "invented to discredit the medieval church." The book relies heavily on secondary works, textbooks, and, occasionally, Wikipedia. Summing Up: Not recommended. E. Edson emerita, Piedmont Virginia Community College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.