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Ian Morris

Stanford University

Ian Morris is interested in understanding why the west has dominated the earth for the last few centuries. He began his career as an archaeologist and historian of ancient Greece, studying early texts and excavating sites around the Mediterranean Sea, but in recent years he has moved toward larger-scale questions and an evolutionary approach to world history. His book Why the West Rules—For Now asks how geography and natural resources have shaped the distribution of wealth and power around the world across the last 20,000 years and how they will shape our future. It was named one of 100 Notable Books of 2011 by the New York Times and as one of the best reads for 2011 by Nature.

His new book project, War! What is it Good For? traces the occurrence of war from pre-human times to the current age. His next book, tentatively called The Ancient World: A New History, will examine the period 10,000 BCE-600 CE across the entire globe.