Maps of Time

Maps of Time : An Introduction to Big History

By (author) David Christian , Foreword by William H. McNeill

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An introduction to a new way of looking at history, from a perspective that stretches from the beginning of time to the present day, "Maps of Time" is world history on an unprecedented scale. Beginning with the Big Bang, David Christian views the interaction of the natural world with the more recent arrivals in flora and fauna, including human beings. Cosmology, geology, archeology, and population and environmental studies - all figure in David Christian's account, which is an ambitious overview of the emerging field of 'Big History.' "Maps of Time" opens with the origins of the universe, the stars and the galaxies, the sun and the solar system, including the earth, and conducts readers through the evolution of the planet before human habitation. It surveys the development of human society from the Paleolithic era through the transition to agriculture, the emergence of cities and states, and the birth of the modern, industrial period right up-to intimations of possible futures. Sweeping in scope, finely focused in its minute detail, this riveting account of the known world, from the inception of space-time to the prospects of global warming, lays the groundwork for world history - and Big History - true as never before to its name.

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  • Paperback | 664 pages
  • 149.9 x 223.5 x 40.6mm | 884.52g
  • 01 Feb 2005
  • University of California Press
  • Berkerley
  • English
  • 11 b/w illustrations, 36 line illustrations, 9 maps & 32 tables
  • 0520244761
  • 9780520244764
  • 134,382

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Author Information

David Christian is Professor in the Department of History at San Diego State University. He is the author of Living Water: Vodka and Russian Society on the Eve of Emancipation (1990), Imperial and Soviet Russia: Power, Privilege and the Challenge of Modernity (1997), and A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia: Volume 1: Inner Eurasia from Prehistory to the Mongol Empire (1998).

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Review quote

"No work in this genre [macro-history] is better than David Christian's Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History.... [I]t is a brilliantly executed act of provocation." - The Times "Forges bold and ingenious connections between the physical and social sciences." - The Age "A good read, a fascinating prospectus for a new kind of history." - American Scientist"

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Back cover copy

"You've all seen the poster of the milky way galaxy with an arrow to a point about halfway out from the center and the caption, 'You are here.' This book is like that only more so. It locates the human experience in the entirety of space-time."--Alfred Crosby, author of "Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900

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Flap copy

"You've all seen the poster of the milky way galaxy with an arrow to a point about halfway out from the center and the caption, 'You are here.' This book is like that only more so. It locates the human experience in the entirety of space-time."--Alfred Crosby, author of "Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900"

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Customer reviews

Very interesting

This guy is actually my lecturer, and his compilation of the history of the world is very comprehensive and equally as vast. From the Big Bang 'til now; this book covers everything. Each chapter also has a summary which is very handy! From what I've seen of other books of this topic, this is by far the best attempt.show more
by Meredith Gown