Currently reading Niall Ferguson's "Civilization: The West And The Rest". This is the third or fourth book by Ferguson I've read, and the most accessible.
The title sums it up: Why did China stagnate and the West prospered? Why did Islam regress, while the West advanced? Why did North America (and by extension the Anglosphere) enjoy liberty and stability while the former possessions of Spain and Portugal sank into--or remained in--chaos and violence? And so on... and what is the prognosis for the West's future?