Saturday, December 29, 2018

Walter Block's Review of Niall Ferguson's "Civilization: The West and the Rest"

As a follow up to my post, Niall Ferguson Comparing Marxism and Fascism, where Ferguson's book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, is mentioned, Walter Block alerts me to a 2016 review of the book that he wrote and that was published at the MEST Journal.  

From the abstract:
Abstract Review essay of Ferguson, Niall. 2011. Civilization: The West and the Rest. Penguin Books, 403 pages. Why has the west done better than the rest of the world in terms of economic development? Ferguson (2001) offers six reasons: competition, science, property rights, medicine, consumption and the work ethic. This review agrees with all except for this emphasis on Keynesian consumption, but finds much more with which to disagree.
From Block's review conclusion:

I am very ambivalent as to whether, how, and if so in what way, to recommend this book. On the one hand, I did learn from it. Ferguson is a good teacher, and a very learned man. On the other hand, as I have indicated, the volume is just littered with errors both of omission and commission, and I am not sure which is worse. Perhaps where I come down on this question is to “damn it with faint praise”: I recommend this book.
The full review is here.


No comments:

Post a Comment