This Fleeting World

By David Christian,

Book cover of This Fleeting World: A Short History of Humanity

Book description

“I first became an avid student of David Christian by watching his course, Big History, on DVD, and so I am very happy to see his enlightening presentation of the world’s history captured in these essays. I hope it will introduce a wider audience to this gifted scientist and teacher.”…

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Why read it?

1 author picked This Fleeting World as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is the briefest of all on my list, at 92 pages. It doesn’t so much narrate world history for you, but structures it. Christian is a pioneer of what is called Big History, which situates human history inside the history of life on earth, inside earth history, inside the history of the Universe. He gives a taste of that approach here, but the main message is his organization of human historical experience into three main eras: the era of foragers, the agrarian era, and the modern era. What separates one from the next, above all else, is the way…

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