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Big History : Between Nothing and Everything - David Christian

Big History

Between Nothing and Everything

Paperback Published: 9th August 2013
ISBN: 9780073385617
Number Of Pages: 332
For Ages: 18+ years old

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Big History: Between Nothing and Everything surveys the past not just of humanity, or even of planet Earth, but of the entire universe. In reading this book instructors and students will retrace a voyage that began 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang and the appearance of the universe. Big history incorporates findings from cosmology, earth and life sciences, and human history, and assembles them into a single, universal historical narrative of our universe and of our place within it.

The first edition of Big History: Between Nothing and Everything, is written by the pioneers of the field, and presents a framework for learning about anything and everything. It encourages students to think critically about our cumulative history and the future of the world through a variety of lenses.

Contents
Preface

Introduction: What Is Big History and How Do We Study It?
Seeing the Big Picture
Seeing the Whole of the Past
What Is Big History?
The Basic Shape of the Story: Increasing Complexity
A Framework: Eight Major Thresholds of Big History
A Note on Chronological Systems and Dates
Summary

Chapter 1 The First Three Thresholds: The Universe, Stars, and New Chemical Elements
Seeing the Big Picture
Threshold 1: Big Bang Cosmology and the Origin of the Universe
Threshold 2: The Origin of Galaxies and Stars
Threshold 3: The Creation of New Chemical Elements
Summary

Chapter 2 The Fourth Threshold: The Emergence of the Sun, the Solar System, and the Earth
Threshold 4: The Emergence of the Sun and Solar System
The Early Earth-a Short History
Shaping of Earth's Surface
Summary

Chapter 3 The Fifth Threshold: The Emergence of Life
Seeing the Big Picture
How Life Changes through Natural Selection
Threshold 5: The Emergence of Life on Earth
A Brief History of Life on Earth
Summary

Chapter 4 The Sixth Threshold: Hominines, Humans, and the Paleolithic Era
Seeing the Big Picture
Hominine Evolution: 8 Million to 200,000 Years Ago
Threshold 6: The Appearance of Homo sapiens
The Paleolithic Era: 200,000 to 10,000 Years Ago
Summary

Chapter 5 The Seventh Threshold: Origins of Agriculture and the Early Agrarian Era
Seeing the Big Picture
Threshold 7: Agriculture
Explaining the Agricultural Revolution
The Early Agrarian Era
The Emergence of Consensual Power
Summary

Chapter 6 Mini-Threshold: The Appearance of Cities, States, and Agrarian Civilizations
Seeing the Big Picture
Defining Cities, States, and Agrarian Civilizations
The Buildup of Resources and Collective Learning
Uruk, the First City, in Sumer, the First State
Cities and States in Other Regions
Summary

Chapter 7 Afro-Eurasia during the Era of Agrarian Civilizations: Part 1
Seeing the Big Picture
Introduction to the Agrarian Later Era
The Era of Agrarian Civilizations
First Trend: The Expansion, Power, and Effectiveness of Agrarian Civilizations and Their Administrations
Summary

Chapter 8 Afro-Eurasia during the Era of Agrarian Civilizations: Part 2
Seeing the Big Picture
Second Trend: The Establishment of Significant Networks of Exchange among Agrarian Civilizations of Afro-Eurasia
Third Trend: Evolving Social and Gender Complexity
Fourth Trend: The Generally Slow Pace of Change and Growth
Summary

Chapter 9
Other World Zones during the Era of Agrarian Civilizations
Seeing the Big Picture
Agrarian Civilizations of the American Zone
The Pacific and Australasian World Zones

Chapter 10 On the Brink of a Threshold: Toward the Modern Revolution
Seeing the Big Picture
The Approach of the Modern Revolution
Why Rates of Innovation Increased: Drivers of Innovation
The World in 1000 CE
The Postclassical Malthusian Cycle: Before 1350 CE
The Early Modern Malthusian Cycle: 1350 to 1700 CE
The World in 1700 CE
Summary

Chapter 11 Crossing the Eighth Threshold: Breakthrough to Modernity
Seeing the Big Picture
Threshold 8: The Modern World/Anthropocene
Social, Agricultural, and Industrial Revolution in Great Britain
The Spread of the Industrial Revolution
Political Revolution: The Rise of the Modern State
The Emergence of Two Worlds-Developed and Developing
Other Consequences of the Industrial Revolution
Summary

Chapter 12 The Anthropocene: Globalization, Growth, and Sustainability
Seeing the Big Picture
Introduction
Part 1: Political and Military Changes
Part 2: Growth-More Humans Consuming More
Part 3: The Impact of Growth and Industrialization on Lifeways and Societies
Part 4: The Anthropocene and the Human Impact on the Biosphere-Is Growth Sustainable?
Summary

Chapter 13 The History of the Future
Seeing the Big Picture
Future 1: The Near Future
Future 2: The Next Few Thousand Years
Future 3: The Remote Future
Conclusion-The End of the Story: Humans in the Cosmos
Summary

Glossary
Credits
Index

ISBN: 9780073385617
ISBN-10: 0073385611
Series: History
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 332
Published: 9th August 2013
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education - Europe
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 27.5 x 21.5  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.703
Edition Number: 1

Earn 176 Qantas Points
on this Book