The decline of the West is something that has long been prophesied. Symptoms of decline are all around us today: slowing growth, crushing debts, ageing populations. But what exactly is amiss with Western civilization? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues, is that the institutions that were once the four pillars of Western society - representative government, the free market, the rule of law and civil society - are degenerating.
The Great Degeneration is a powerful indictment of an era of negligence and complacency. To stop us frittering away the institutional inheritance of centuries, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform.