Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History

Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History

Paperback California World History Library

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

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Paperback | 672 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 43mm | 885g
  • Publication date: 3 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520271440
  • ISBN 13: 9780520271449
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: 8 b/w illustrations, 39 line illustrations, 9 maps, 32 tables
  • Sales rank: 29,242

Product description

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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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).

Review quote

"A remarkable work of synthesis and scholarship. . . . Christian's Olympian perspective on the story of time is exhilarating."-P. D. Smith, The Guardian

Table of contents

Introduction: A Modern Creation Myth? 1. The First 300,000 Years: Origins of the Universe, Time, and Space 2. Origins of the Galaxies and Stars: The Beginnings of Complexity 3. Origins and History of the Earth 4. The Origins of Life and the Theory of Evolution 5. The Evolution of Life and the Biosphere 6. The Evolution of Humans 7. The Beginnings of Human History 8. Intensification and the Origins of Agriculture 9. From Power over Nature to Power over People: Cities, States, and Civilizations 10. Long Trends in the Era of Agrarian Civilizations 11. Approaching Modernity 12. Globalization, Commercialization, and Innovation 13. Birth of the Modern World 14. The Great Acceleration of the Twentieth Century 15. Futures