Civilization sets out to answer a question that Ferguson identifies as the "most interesting" facing historians of the modern era: "Why, beginning around 1500, did a few small polities on the western end of the Eurasian landmass come to dominate the rest of the world?" In other words, the book attempts to explain the roots of something – western power – that has long fascinated its author... In two consecutive books, EmpireandColossus– published, not by accident, around the time of the Iraq invasion – he charted the respective imperial histories of Britain and America, concluding not only that Britain should be prouder of its colonial past, but that the world would be a better place if America imitated Victorian Britain and became a fully fledged liberal empire. Though both books were bestsellers and won Ferguson scores of new admirers, especially in the US, they also, not surprisingly, drew heavy criticism from the left.
Civilization, too, starts from the premise that western dominance has been a good thing.
The fact that this final line is even a controversial assertion speaks volumes about the degree to which the Left has successfully infiltrated academia, the media, and popular culture. The fearless Ferguson is a threat to their anti-American and anti-Western narrative, and a welcome antidote.