How did the rest of us cross the Big Ditch? Why was it that the West successfully achieved both peaceful and open societies while the East got something very different, often worse, and whole continents became arrested at the tribal level? If you take the eleventh century as a starting point—as David Landes does—then the amount of violence in Europe at that time differed little from the level in New Zealand in Cook's day or in West Africa about 1750.