Author of The Parasitic Role of Elites, Saving Democracy!, Wasted Genius and Common Genius

Common Genius

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ISBN: 978-0930073374

Synopsis: Common Genius looks at major trends of the past 3,000 years of world history, revealing why some societies prospered while others remained mired in poverty. Join the author in his quest to find the causes of history’s sublime spectacle–the march of mankind forward from poverty to prosperity.

  • See how the “great men” and “great events” did more harm than good.
  • Find out which religions and philosophies helped and which hurt.
  • Discover the lessons of history and how they apply to today’s issues.
  • Learn the “tipping points” that determined which nations advanced.
  • Explore the reasons foreign aid has failed to help Third World Nations.

Finally we have proof that progress was never a purely ethnic matter. The Phoenicians, Greeks, and the Basques were very different from those who populated Iceland and Scotland, but they all created free and prosperous societies. If the Chinese, Kenyans, or even the Iraqis adopt the echanisms that fueled progress in the West, the next stepping stone forward could well be theirs to stand upon. The blueprint for freedom and affluence is revealed for all to share.


“Mr. Greene shows how history progresses through the spontaneous creativity of ordinary free individuals, and not through top-down design by experts or intellectuals. A fascinating and clearly written book that challenges the conventional wisdom of our society’s cult of expertise. It is likely to be controversial among our cultural elites.:

Joseph F. Johnston, Jr., author * Limits of Government*

“Bill Greene has written a provocative book that celebrates the common sense of the people who built the West, and disparages the dangerous and faulty theories of the academics who want to tear down this civilization.”

Ricardo Duchesne, professor, University of New Brunswick


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Table of Contents

  • Chapter  1  —  The Theory of History
  • Chapter  2  —  Attempts to Summarize History
  • Chapter  3  —   The Nature of Intelligence
  • Chapter  4  —   Philosophers vs.  Scientists
  • Chapter  5  —  The Stepping Stones of History–Progress at a Snail’s Pace
    • Phoenicia — The First Merchant State
    • Greece — The Roots of Democracy
    • Iceland —  Overcoming Geography and Climate
    • The Basques — The Importance of Undesirable Land
    • Florence and the Italian City States — Drawing on the Past
    • Holland — Bourgeois Burghers at Work
    • Scotland — The Protestant Reformation Realized
    • England — A Thousand Years of Persistence by the Common People
    • America — Putting it all Together–The Ultimate Stepping Stone
  • Chapter  6  —  Why The West Won
  • Chapter  7  —  Defining Historical Progress
  • Chapter  8  —  Solutions for Less Developed Nations
  • Chapter  9  —  How Smugglers and Illegals Show The Way
  • Chapter 10  —  Did Different Religions Affect Growth?
  • Chapter 11  —  European Diplomacy — Two Hundred Years of Failure
  • Chapter 12  —  Drifting Backward–Totalitarianism and Genocide in the 20th Century
  • Chapter 13  —  Problems of Mature Societies — The Intelligentsia Arrives
  • Chapter 14   —  The Decline of Societies — Following the Wrong Vision
  • Chapter 15   —  Concluding Thoughts
  • After word — An Action Plan  —  Guidelines from the Past on Current Issues

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