From the conflicts that presaged the First World War to the aftershocks of the Cold War, the twentieth century was the bloodiest in human history. This was an age when multicultural communities were torn apart by the irregularities of economic boom and bust. It was also an age poisoned by an idea: the idea of irrevocable racial differences. Above all it was an age of struggle between decaying old empires and predatory new empire-states. Who won the war of the world? We tend to assume it was the West. Some even talk of the American century. But for Niall Ferguson the biggest upheaval of the twentieth century was the decline of Western dominance over Asia. Drawing on history, economics and evolutionary theory, The War of the World is a revolutionary new interpretation of the modern era.