The Great Degeneration

  • by Niall Ferguson
  • Narrated by Paul Slack
  • 4 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Symptoms of decline are all around us today, it seems: slowing growth, crushing debts, aging populations, anti-social behaviour. But what exactly is amiss with Western civilization? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues, is that our institutions - the intricate frameworks within which a society can flourish or fail - are degenerating. To arrest the degeneration of the West's civilization, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform.
The Great Degeneration is the latest, provocative work from Niall Ferguson, best-selling author of The Ascent of Money.

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What the Critics Say

"Brilliantly written, full of wit and virtuosity, stuffed with memorable lines and gorgeous bits of information. A great read" (The Times)
"Brings history alive for the reader with a dazzling knowledge... peerless" (Independent on Sunday)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Buy the hard copy

I bought this following on from (the brilliant) Ascent of Money, and was a bit disappointed. It is so brief that I felt useful details had been left out, and yet I also felt it was quite hard to follow as an audiobook. Ferguson follows the 'institutional' paradigm of successful societies, and refers repeatedly to 'Why Nations Fail' by Acemoglu and Robinson. In a sense this book is an appendix to theirs (explaining why our societies are poised for failure) and I'd recommend the first one, if you haven't read/audioed it, and then try applying their criteria for success to your own society.

Maybe the worst thing was the tone of the narration. Paul Slack reads in a 'Jeremy Clarkson sarcasm' voice throughout, which made me feel that the degeneration of the legal system and collapse of civil society was my own, personal, fault.

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- Judy Corstjens

Worth a listen

good listen and an interesting critique of modern institutions - to an extent it is a thorough PEST style analysis but has some interesting insights. Very libertarian and pro free market, which I mostly agree with, but this occasionally seems like a Ron Paul type libertarianism - though arguments are well reasoned and compelling
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- Gareth

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-05-2013
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks