KQED Pressroom
pressroom home WXXI channels Events & Outreach listings & schedule corporate corporate rules & regulations

WXXI Overview

WXXI logos
Downloadable versions

WXXI Press List
sign up to receive the latest WXXI news & information
Media Usage Policy
photo & document rights, uses, permissions
Kristin Tutino
Creative Services Department


Press Releases

Tuesday, May 22 at 8 p.m. Civilization: The West and the Rest with Niall Ferguson

(Rochester, NY) – For the past five centuries, Western power has prevailed around the world. More and more people eat Western food, experience Western art, rely on Western medicine, emulate Western government, wear Western clothing, and practice Western religions. How did that happen? What led the West to be so influential? And how long will the West sustain its supremacy? As America approaches the 2012 presidential election in the midst of a geopolitical paradigm shift, acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson returns to public television with a timely look at the West’s economic ascendancy and its possible waning dominance. A two-part series, Civilization: The West and the Rest with Niall Ferguson will premiere Tuesdays, May 22 and 29, 2012 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11).

Accompanied by a major new book, Civilization: The West and the Rest (Penguin Press), the series explores the West’s epic and surprising rise to global dominance. Applying essential economic and political insights, Niall Ferguson identifies what he calls “the six killer applications” that “the Rest” lacked, but which enabled the West to become an economic and political superpower. However, no civilization lasts forever. And Ferguson speculates that perhaps “The Rest” can overtake the West by “downloading” and upgrading these “apps” too.

Each two-hour episode focuses on three of these factors: competition; science; modern medicine; democracy; consumerism; and the (Protestant) work ethic. Spanning theories on the rise and fall of empires past and present, Ferguson explains how the West taught others its ideas and institutions. And in so doing, the West may be endangering its power.

Credit: Courtesy of Dewald Aukema, © Chimerica
Pictured: Niall Ferguson




WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.