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Origin story : a big history of everything / David Christian.

By: Christian, David, 1946-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York, Little, Brown Spark, 2019Edition: First Little, Brown Spark paperback edition.Description: x, 357 pages ; 22 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0316392014; 9780316392013.Subject(s): Civilization -- Philosophy | Cosmology | World history | Human evolution | BiocomplexitySummary: Most historians study the smallest slivers of time, emphasizing specific dates, individuals, and documents. But what would it look like to study the whole of history, from the big bang through the present day -- and even into the remote future? How would looking at the full span of time change the way we perceive the universe, the earth, and our very existence? These were the questions David Christian set out to answer when he created the field of "Big History," the most exciting new approach to understanding where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. In Origin Story, Christian takes readers on a wild ride through the entire 13.8 billion years we've come to know as "history." By focusing on defining events (thresholds), major trends, and profound questions about our origins, Christian exposes the hidden threads that tie everything together -- from the creation of the planet to the advent of agriculture, nuclear war, and beyond. With stunning insights into the origin of the universe, the beginning of life, the emergence of humans, and what the future might bring, Origin Story boldly reframes our place in the cosmos.
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due
Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction (NEST)
Non-Fiction (NEST) 909 CHR Checked out 05/08/2019

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This New York Times bestseller "elegantly weaves evidence and insights...into a single, accessible historical narrative" (Bill Gates) and presents a captivating history of the universe -- from the Big Bang to dinosaurs to mass globalization and beyond.

Most historians study the smallest slivers of time, emphasizing specific dates, individuals, and documents. But what would it look like to study the whole of history, from the big bang through the present day -- and even into the remote future? How would looking at the full span of time change the way we perceive the universe, the earth, and our very existence?

These were the questions David Christian set out to answer when he created the field of "Big History," the most exciting new approach to understanding where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. In Origin Story , Christian takes readers on a wild ride through the entire 13.8 billion years we've come to know as "history." By focusing on defining events (thresholds), major trends, and profound questions about our origins, Christian exposes the hidden threads that tie everything together -- from the creation of the planet to the advent of agriculture, nuclear war, and beyond.

With stunning insights into the origin of the universe, the beginning of life, the emergence of humans, and what the future might bring, Origin Story boldly reframes our place in the cosmos.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 327-340) and index.

Most historians study the smallest slivers of time, emphasizing specific dates, individuals, and documents. But what would it look like to study the whole of history, from the big bang through the present day -- and even into the remote future? How would looking at the full span of time change the way we perceive the universe, the earth, and our very existence? These were the questions David Christian set out to answer when he created the field of "Big History," the most exciting new approach to understanding where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. In Origin Story, Christian takes readers on a wild ride through the entire 13.8 billion years we've come to know as "history." By focusing on defining events (thresholds), major trends, and profound questions about our origins, Christian exposes the hidden threads that tie everything together -- from the creation of the planet to the advent of agriculture, nuclear war, and beyond. With stunning insights into the origin of the universe, the beginning of life, the emergence of humans, and what the future might bring, Origin Story boldly reframes our place in the cosmos.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Preface (p. vii)
  • Introduction (p. 3)
  • Timeline (p. 13)
  • Part I Cosmos
  • Chapter 1 In the Beginning: Threshold 1 (p. 17)
  • Chapter 2 Stars and Galaxies: Thresholds 2 and 3 (p. 39)
  • Chapter 3 Molecules and Moons: Threshold 4 (p. 56)
  • Part II Biosphere
  • Chapter 4 Life: Threshold 5 (p. 75)
  • Chapter 5 Little Life and the Biosphere (p. 99)
  • Chapter 6 Big Life and the Biosphere (p. 125)
  • Part III Us
  • Chapter 7 Humans: Threshold 6 (p. 157)
  • Chapter 8 Farming: Threshold 7 (p. 188)
  • Chapter 9 Agrarian Civilizations (p. 210)
  • Chapter 10 On the Verge of Today's World (p. 236)
  • Chapter 11 The Anthropocene: Threshold 8 (p. 259)
  • Part IV The Future
  • Chapter 12 Where Is It All Going? (p. 287)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 307)
  • Appendix: Statistics on Human History (p. 311)
  • Glossary (p. 313)
  • Further Reading (p. 325)
  • Notes (p. 327)
  • Index (p. 341)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Christian's (history, Macquarie Univ.; Big History) fascinating, all-encompassing history of everything that has happened since the Big Bang includes his own projections of the near future. While most historians focus on specific instances, individuals, dates, or documents, Christian structures the work around eight defining thresholds that have driven human culture and progress. These include the original Big Bang, the sub-sequent development of stars and galaxies, the original formation of the fundamental elements that ultimately evolved into life as we know it, the formation of the biosphere, the evolution of humans, the impact of the agrarian society, and the current Anthropocene epoch. The author interlaces insights drawn from dozens of disciplines in the sciences, arts, and humanities, and the result is a unifying knowledge that knits the puzzle pieces of solid scholarship into a magnificent model of understanding of everything. His speculation on the possible future advances along with his sage advice and warnings should be a wake-up call for world leaders. Jamie Jackson's clean, smoothly paced diction helps listeners maintain focus. -VERDICT This macro-level history will appeal to fans of anthropology and history and erudite listeners of the works of Jacob Bronowski, Kenneth Clark, James Burke, Carl Sagan, and Neil deGrasse Tyson. ["An invigorating romp through time and space that brings fresh perspective to the science of human history": LJ 7/18 review of the Little, Brown hc.]-Dale Farris, Groves, TX © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.