“The best estimates of how many people have ever lived on the earth range from 100 to 110 billion. Freedom House estimates that approximately three billion of the earth’s current population live in “free” nations…It has also been estimated that 554 million people have lived under freedom in the United States…We can also postulate that perhaps another billion, or fewer, have lived under freedom in the other European nations…Even being generous in our estimates, it seems clear that fewer than five billion of the earth’s total inhabitants have ever lived under conditions that we would consider free. This would be something like 4.5 percent of people who have ever lived.”
The Miracle of Freedom: Seven Tipping Points That Saved the World makes a compelling argument that there were seven events in history that allowed the formation of free societies. The above quote puts into perspective how few people have enjoyed the freedom that many of us take for granted. Most of the events centered around a number of battles that stopped conquering hordes from decimating burgeoning free societies. One of the battles was made famous by the movie titled “The 300” where the Spartans (and quite a few others) delayed the advance of the Persians.
Authors Chris Stewart and Ted Stewart wrote a very readable book that combined the broader historical perspective, details about the tipping points, and a personal perspective from a character that might have participated in the events. I expected a fact-filled book that was somewhat full of dry facts, however, Seven Tipping Points flowed like a favorite novel. If you enjoy history you will love this book. If you don’t love history you’ll love this book. I loved this book.
One thing that I took from this book is how fragile our freedoms are. That which we take for granted has only been around for a few hundred years and unless we are vigilant will not last a few hundred more. Look at the forces at work today and you can see efforts to rid the Earth of basic freedoms that we now enjoy.