by Ian Morris (Profile Books)

The rise of certain Asian economies, particularly China, has been topical in recent years. More so because Western powers have not experienced similar joy in growth rates.

Several European states are experiencing financial heartaches and even Americans might be wondering whether their nation can continue to dominate world affairs.

Ian Morris, a veteran, British-born academic and writer, steps in to document the patterns of history and what they reveal about the future. He explains that one needs to take a multi-disciplinary approach to understand the developments that led to the current environment and what it holds going forward.

We learn that East and West used to have similar levels of social development, with agriculture the dominant activity, but the Industrial Revolution turned the West’s lead in social development into Western rule.

But the East, led by China and Japan, start playing catch-up in the second half of the 19th century and mankind is now at a place where it needs to understand the past and great statesmen have to emerge to take decisions.

Morris has very interesting ideas on how man will continue to evolve. – Carl Peters