Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present

New Press/ORIM
6
Free sample

“This exciting saga crosses space and time to illustrate how humans, born of stardust, were shaped—and how they in turn shaped the world we know today” (Publishers Weekly).
 
This book offers “world history on a grand scale”—pulling back for a wider view and putting the relatively brief time span of human history in context (Kirkus Reviews). After all, our five thousand years of recorded civilization account for only about one millionth of the lifetime of our planet.
 
Big History interweaves different disciplines of knowledge, drawing on both the natural sciences and the human sciences, to offer an all-encompassing account of history on Earth. This new edition is more relevant than ever before, as we increasingly grapple with accelerating rates of change and, ultimately, the legacy we will bequeath to future generations. Here is a path-breaking portrait of our world, from the birth of the universe from a single point the size of an atom to life on a twenty-first-century planet inhabited by seven billion people.
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About the author

Cynthia Stokes Brown is a retired professor of education at Dominican University of California. She has written works of history and biography, including the American Book Award-winning Ready from Within: Septima Clark and the Civil Rights Movement, Connecting with the Past, and Refusing Racism. She lives in Berkeley, California.
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4.0
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Additional Information

Publisher
New Press/ORIM
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Published on
Nov 6, 2012
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781595588456
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Language
English
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Genres
History / World
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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How did everything around us-the air, the land, the sea, and the stars-originate? What is the source of order, form, and structure characterizing all material things? These are just some of the grand scientific questions Eric J. Chaisson, author of the classic work Cosmic Dawn, explores in his enthralling and illuminating history of the universe. Explaining new discoveries and a range of cutting-edge ideas and theories, Chaisson provides a creative and coherent synthesis of current scientific thinking on the universe's beginnings. He takes us on a tour of the seven ages of the cosmos, from the formless era of radiation through the origins of human culture. Along the way he examines the development of the most microscopic and the most immense aspects of our universe and the complex ways in which they interact.

Drawing on recent breakthroughs in astrophysics and biochemistry, Chaisson discusses the contemporary scientific view that all objects-from quarks and quasars to microbes and the human mind-are interrelated. Researchers in all the natural sciences are beginning to identify an underlying pattern penetrating the fabric of existence-a sweepingly encompassing view of the formation, structure, and function of all objects in our multitudinous universe. Moreover, as Chaisson demonstrates, by deciphering the scenario of cosmic evolution, scientists can also determine how living organisms managed to inhabit the land, generate language, and create culture.

Epic of Evolution offers a stunning view of how various changes, operating across almost incomprehensible domains of space and nearly inconceivable stretches of time and through the evolutionary combination of necessity and chance, have given rise to our galaxy, our star, our planet, and ourselves.

Today we know what no previous generation knew: the history of the universe and of the unfolding of life on Earth. Through the astonishing combined achievements of natural scientists worldwide, we now have a detailed account of how galaxies and stars, planets and living organisms, human beings and human consciousness came to be. And yet . . . we thirst for answers to questions that have haunted humanity from the very beginning. What is our place in the 14-billion-year history of the universe? What roles do we play in Earth's history? How do we connect with the intricate web of life on Earth?
In "Journey of the Universe" Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker tell the epic story of the universe from an inspired new perspective, weaving the findings of modern science together with enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, China, India, and indigenous peoples. The authors explore cosmic evolution as a profoundly wondrous process based on creativity, connection, and interdependence, and they envision an unprecedented opportunity for the world's people to address the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times.
"Journey of the Universe" transforms how we understand our origins and envision our future. Though a little book, it tells a big story--one that inspires hope for a way in which Earth and its human civilizations could flourish together.
This book is part of a larger project that includes a documentary film, an educational DVD series, and a website. The film and the DVD series will be released in 2011. For more information, please consult the website, journeyoftheuniverse.org.
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