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Big History and the Future of Humanity / Edition 1

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Overview

Big History and the Future of Humanity presents an original theoretical approach that makes “big history” – the placing of the human past within the history of life, the Earth, and the Universe — accessible to general readers while revealing insights into what the future may hold for humanity.

  • Provides an accessible and original overview of the entire sweep of history that places human history within the history of life, the Earth, and the Universe
  • Features an original theory of “big history” which explains all of history and opens up an entirely new interdisciplinary research agenda
  • Offers new insights into the future of humanity by better understanding the past
  • Presents a new approach to complexity studies, which takes into account the greatest galaxy clusters as well as the tiniest sub-atomic particles
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Spier takes us one important step forward in making big history accessible to all. I look forward to the next, more fully illustrated and documented, step in this process.” (Journal of World History, 1 August 2012

"This is a deep and important book that promises to send scholars in many different fields off on new paths in search of a grand unified theory of history." (Journal of Global History, 2011)

"A volume rich in data, theories, and questions posed and answered. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." (Choice , 1 April 2011)

"Personally, I think everyone should have access to this story, and I would put it at the heart of the national curriculum as well." (The Times Higher Education, September 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781444339437
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/25/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,285,101
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Spier is Senior Lecturer in Big History at the University of Amsterdam and also teaches Big History at the Eindhoven University of Technology. He is the author of Religious Regimes in Peru (1994), San Nicolás de Zurite (1995), and The Structure of Big History: From the Big Bang until Today (1996).

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction to big history 1

Ch. 2 General approach 18

Ch. 3 Cosmic evolution : the emergence of simple forms of complexity 41

Ch. 4 Our cosmic neighborhood : the emergence of greater complexity 62

Ch. 5 Life on Earth : the widening range of complexity 82

Ch. 6 Early human history : the emergence of the greatest known complexity 111

Ch. 7 Recent human history : the development of the greatest known complexity 138

Ch. 8 Facing the future 189

App A short time line of big history 206

Notes 208

Bibliography 239

Index 262

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