Gartner Blog Network

Book of the Month: Civilization – The West and the Rest, by Niall Ferguson

by Andrew White  |  November 16, 2012  |  Comments Off on Book of the Month: Civilization – The West and the Rest, by Niall Ferguson

Book of the Month (October):  Civilization – The West and the Rest, by Niall Ferguson, Penguin Press, 2011.    A must read!  Thoroughly entertaining and insightful look at the “killer applications” that explain why the west has dominated modern history.  Ferguson is my favorite author (I admit) and this book is another great example why.  He looks at 6 “killer apps”, competition, science, property, medicine, consumption and work, from a historical perspective to see how they influenced the modern world – i.e. today.  It is quite simply fascinating to discover why the west made it, even though in years past, the east dominated.  The book concludes with a discussion about how should the west preserve its current position, if indeed it can.  This results in an uplifting and even politically incorrect perspective that should be heard and discussed widely.  With the current “anti capitalist” movement in the ascendancy, it would be good to counter their misunderstanding for where money and growth actually comes from.  Get the book, and/or watch the TV Series.  Awesome.  Very recommended 10 out of 10.

The bad news is that I tried to get Niall Ferguson to be one of our key note speakers at our upcoming MDM Summit in March next year.  I thought that his research would be really interesting (compared to classic on-topic speaker).  It turns out he charges a small fortune for what is, in reality, a niche topic.  I was so hoping that we could all enjoy his uplifting conclusions of his latest research, with respect to global competitiveness, but alas it seems we won’t be able too.  Shame.

Category: niall-ferguson  

Andrew White
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
22 years IT industry

Andrew White is a research vice president and agenda manager for MDM and Analytics at Gartner. His main research focus is master data management (MDM) and the drill-down topic of creating the "single view of the product" using MDM of product data. He was co-chair… Read Full Bio

Comments are closed

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.