‘Although history never repeats itself, it does – in Mark Twain’s words – “rhyme”, and has an uncanny ability to be a fairly accurate guide to the future. The book  is about choices and I explore why China, Russia and the Ottomans were willing to embrace policy choices that proved to be so self-destructive. From the Mongol warriors sweeping across Eurasian steppes to the Black Death and a re-awakening of human spirit; from Zheng He voyages and the collapse of Novgorod republic to prohibition on publishing in Arabic, the book explores the birth of our modern world, and how these events led to the collapse of all non-Western civilizations and the triumph of the West.’