Big History

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2007-09-30
  • Publisher: New Pr

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Jared Diamond meets Stephen Hawking in a book that fits human history into the history of the universe, by an American Book Award winner. An epic for our time,Big Historybegins when the universe is no more than a single point the size of an atom, squeezed together in unimaginable density, and ends with a twenty-first-century planet inhabited by 6.1 billion people. It's a story that takes in prehistoric geology, human evolution, the agrarian age, the Black Death, the voyages of Columbus, the industrial revolution, and global warming. Historian Cynthia Brown visits the Vikings, the Mayas and Aztecs, the Incas, the Mongol empire, and the Islamic heartlands. Along the way she considers topics as varied as cell formation, population growth, global disparities, and illiteracy, creating a stunning synthesis of historical and scientific knowledge of humanity and the earth we inhabit. Big Historyrepresents a new kind of history, one that skillfully interweaves historical knowledge and cutting-edge science. In an age of global warming, when the fate of the earth hangs in the balance, scientific advances permit us to see the universe as never before, grasping the timescales that allow us to understand the history of mankind in the context of its ecological impact on the planet. Cynthia Brown's lucid, accessible narrative is the first popularization of this innovative new field of study, as thrilling as it is ambitious.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. xi
The Depths of Time and Space
Expanding into Universe (13.7 Billion-4.6 Billion Years Ago)p. 3
Living Earth (4.6 Billion-5 Million Years Ago)p. 16
Human Emergence: One Species (5 Million-35,000 Years Ago)p. 38
Advanced Hunting and Gathering (35,000-10,000 Years Ago)p. 57
Ten Thousand Warm Years
Early Agriculture (8000-3500 BCE)p. 75
Early Cities (3500-800 BCE)p. 94
The Afro-Eurasian Network (800 BCE-200 CE)p. 110
Expanding the Afro-Eurasian Network (200-1000 CE)p. 127
Emergence of American Civilizations (200-1450 CE)p. 147
One Afro-Eurasia (1000-1500 CE)p. 168
Connecting the Globe (1450-1800 CE)p. 188
Industrialization (1750-2000 CE)p. 210
What Now? What Next?p. 230
Notesp. 249
Bibliographyp. 265
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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