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18 books of Ian Morris

A powerful and provocative exploration of how war has changed our society—for the better“War! . . . . / What is it good for? / Absolutely nothing,­” says the famous song—but archaeology, history, and biology show that war in fact has been good for something. Surprising as it sounds, war has made humanity safer and richer.­In War! What Is It Good For?, the renowned historian and archaeologist Ian Morris tells the gruesome, gripping story of fifteen thousand years of war, going beyond the battles and brutality to reveal what war has really done to and for the world. Stone Age people lived in small, feuding societies and stood a one-­in-­ten or even one-­in-­five chance of dying violently. In the twentieth century, by contrast—despite two world wars, Hiroshima, and the Holocaust—fewer than one person in a hundred died violently. The explanation: War, and war alone, has created bigger, more complex societies, ruled by governments that have stamped out internal violence. Strangely enough, . . .

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In the last thirty years, there have been fierce debates over how civilizations develop and why the West became so powerful. presents a brand-­new way of investigating these questions and provides new tools for assessing the long-­term growth of societies. Using a groundbreaking numerical index of social development that compares societies in different times and places, award-­winning author Ian Morris sets forth a sweeping examination of Eastern and Western development across 15,­000 years since the end of the last ice age. He offers surprising conclusions about when and why the West came to dominate the world and fresh perspectives for thinking about the twenty-­first century. Adapting the United Nations' approach for measuring human development, Morris's index breaks social development into four traits--­energy capture per capita, organization, information technology, and war-­making capacity--­and he uses archaeological, historical, and current government data to quantify patterns. . . .

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Why did British boats shoot their way up the Yangzi in 1842, rather than Chinese ones up the Thames? Why do Easterners use English more than Europeans speak in Mandarin or Japanese? To put it bluntly, why does the West rule? There are two schools of thought: the 'Long-­Term Lock In' theory, suggesting some sort of inevitability, and the 'Short-­Term Accident' theory. But both approaches have misunderstood the shape of history.

Ian Morris presents a startling new theory. He explains with flair and authority why the paths of development differed in the East and West and - analysing a vicious twist in trajectories just ahead of us - predicts when the West's lead will come to an end.

'Here you have three books wrapped into one: an exciting novel that happens to be true; an entertaining but thorough historical account of everything important that happened to any important people in the last 10 millennia; and an educated guess about what will happen in the future. Read, learn, and . . .

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This book shows the reader how much archaeologists can learn from recent developments in cultural history.

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There has recently been an explosion of interest in positive psychology and the teaching of well-­being and 'happiness' in the PSHE world in schools and many teachers are looking for clear information on how to implement these potentially life-­changing ideas in the classroom. This book provides an introduction to the theory of positive psychology and a practical guide on how to implement the theory in (primarily secondary) schools. The American psychologist and writer Martin Seligman, well known for his work on the idea of 'learned helplessness', has more recently been working in the field of positive psychology. He has led training in resilience in a number of UK local authorities. Wellington College, where Ian Morris is head of philosophy, religion and PSHE, is among the first UK schools to introduce a formal well-­being and happiness curriculum developed by the author.

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A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
Sometime around 1750, English entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal, and the world was forever changed. The emergence of factories, railroads, and gunboats propelled the West’s rise to power in the nineteenth century, and the development of computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth century secured its global supremacy. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-­first century, many worry that the emerging economic power of China and India spells the end of the West as a superpower. In order to understand this possibility, we need to look back in time. Why has the West dominated the globe for the past two hundred years, and will its power last?
Describing the patterns of human history, the archaeologist and historian Ian Morris offers surprising new answers to both questions. It is not, he reveals, differences of race or culture, or even the strivings of great individuals, that explain Western dominance. It is the . . .

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Books of Ian Morris