We live in a confused and confusing world. This is partly caused by the massive growth of inter-civilisational contacts driven by economic, cultural and communication changes. It is urgent that we understand each other if we are to survive and thrive, yet most of us know very little about the world outside our own civilisation. This book describes the central features of four great civilisations, their history and culture: China, Japan, Europe and the Anglosphere. Through a comparison of their deeper cultural logic and through investigating their dreams and nightmares, their religious, economic, political and social similarities and differences, we may come to a deeper appreciation of their worlds and our own. Drawing on fifty years of travel through these different civilisations and teaching about them at the University of Cambridge, Alan Macfarlane explores how we can remain different and yet live in some sort of harmony through mutual appreciation and understanding.