The Origins of the Modern World

Author: Robert Marks
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 9780742554191
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This clearly written and engrossing book presents a global narrative of the origins of the modern world from 1400 to the present. Unlike most studies, which assume that the "rise of the West" is the story of the coming of the modern world, this history, drawing upon new scholarship on Asia, Africa, and the New World, constructs a story in which those parts of the world play major roles. Robert B. Marks defines the modern world as one marked by industry, the nation state, interstate warfare, a large and growing gap between the wealthiest and poorest parts of the world, and an escape from "the biological old regime." He explains its origins by emphasizing contingencies (such as the conquest of the New World); the broad comparability of the most advanced regions in China, India, and Europe; the reasons why England was able to escape from common ecological constraints facing all of those regions by the 18th century; and a conjuncture of human and natural forces that solidified a gap between the industrialized and non-industrialized parts of the world. Now in a new edition that brings the saga of the modern world to the present, the book considers how and why the United States emerged as a world power in the twentieth century and became the sole superpower by the twenty-first century. Once again arguing that the rise of the United States to global hegemon was contingent, not inevitable, Marks also points to the resurgence of Asia and the vastly changed relationship of humans to the environment that may, in the long run, overshadow any political and economic milestones of the past hundred years.

The Origins of the Modern World

Author: Robert Marks
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 074255418X
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
This volume presents a global narrative of the origins of the modern world. Unlike most studies, which assume that the rise of the West is the story of the coming of the modern world, this history accords importance to the 'underdeveloped world'.

The Origins of the Modern World

Author: Robert B. Marks
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN: 1461645042
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
This clearly written and engaging book presents a global narrative of the origins of the modern world. Unlike most studies, which assume that the "rise of the West" is the story of the coming of the modern world, this history, drawing upon new scholarship on Asia, Africa, and the New World, constructs a story in which those parts of the world play major roles. Robert B. Marks defines the modern world as one marked by industry, the nation state, interstate warfare, a large and growing gap between the wealthiest and poorest parts of the world, and an escape from "the biological old regime."

Catastrophe

Author: David Keys
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345444361
Format: PDF, Kindle
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It was a catastrophe without precedent in recorded history: for months on end, starting in A.D. 535, a strange, dusky haze robbed much of the earth of normal sunlight. Crops failed in Asia and the Middle East as global weather patterns radically altered. Bubonic plague, exploding out of Africa, wiped out entire populations in Europe. Flood and drought brought ancient cultures to the brink of collapse. In a matter of decades, the old order died and a new world—essentially the modern world as we know it today—began to emerge. In this fascinating, groundbreaking, totally accessible book, archaeological journalist David Keys dramatically reconstructs the global chain of revolutions that began in the catastrophe of A.D. 535, then offers a definitive explanation of how and why this cataclysm occurred on that momentous day centuries ago. The Roman Empire, the greatest power in Europe and the Middle East for centuries, lost half its territory in the century following the catastrophe. During the exact same period, the ancient southern Chinese state, weakened by economic turmoil, succumbed to invaders from the north, and a single unified China was born. Meanwhile, as restless tribes swept down from the central Asian steppes, a new religion known as Islam spread through the Middle East. As Keys demonstrates with compelling originality and authoritative research, these were not isolated upheavals but linked events arising from the same cause and rippling around the world like an enormous tidal wave. Keys's narrative circles the globe as he identifies the eerie fallout from the months of darkness: unprecedented drought in Central America, a strange yellow dust drifting like snow over eastern Asia, prolonged famine, and the hideous pandemic of the bubonic plague. With a superb command of ancient literatures and historical records, Keys makes hitherto unrecognized connections between the "wasteland" that overspread the British countryside and the fall of the great pyramid-building Teotihuacan civilization in Mexico, between a little-known "Jewish empire" in Eastern Europe and the rise of the Japanese nation-state, between storms in France and pestilence in Ireland. In the book's final chapters, Keys delves into the mystery at the heart of this global catastrophe: Why did it happen? The answer, at once surprising and definitive, holds chilling implications for our own precarious geopolitical future. Wide-ranging in its scholarship, written with flair and passion, filled with original insights, Catastrophe is a superb synthesis of history, science, and cultural interpretation.

Twin Tracks

Author: James Burke
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439128756
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Twin Tracks is a landmark book of real-world stories that investigates the nature of change and divines as never before the unlikely origins of many aspects of contemporary life. In each of the work's twenty-five narratives, we discover how the different outcomes of an important historical event in the past often come together again in the future. Each chapter starts with an event -- such as the U.S. attack on Tripoli in 1804 -- that generates two divergent series of consequences. After tracking each pathway as it ranges far and wide through time and space, Burke shows how the paths finally and unexpectedly converge in the modern world. Twin Tracks pinpoints the myriad ways the future is shaped, whether by love, war, accident, genius, or discovery. For instance, in "The Marriage of Figaro to Stealth Fighter," Burke's twin tracks start with the composer of the opera and the French spy from whose play he stole the plot. The tracks then encompass, among other things, freemasonry, the War of Independence, Captain Cook, jellyfish, Jane Austen, and audio tape. Ultimately, the convergence of the two Figaro tracks sets the stage for the development of Gulf War Stealth aircraft. Wonderfully accessible and lucidly written, Twin Tracks offers an amusing and instructive new view of the past and the future.

Evolving Health

Author: Noel T. Boaz
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780471212997
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Human illnesses can be understood as damage to those adaptations that we took on at various stages in our evolution from pre-life molecules to modern Homo sapiens. Preventing these illnesses entails avoiding what causes the damage-- which too frequently are the everyday hazards of twenty-first-century life, as the chart below shows: Level of Evolution Cause of adaptive failure resulting disease or problem Pre-life Environmental poisons Certain birth defects Single cell (bacteria and amoeba-like) Viral infection Colds/flu/HIV Morula (sponge-like) Cellular stress Cancer Chordate Physical stress Back pain Fish Excess dietary salt Hypertension/heart disease Amphibian Tobacco smoke Lung cancer/emphysema Lower primate Excess dietary sugar Diabetes mellitus Higher primate Vitamin C deficiency Scurvy Ape Excess dietary protein Gout Homo sapiens Reduced dietary variety Nutritionaldiseases/food allergies

Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy

Author: Barrington Moore
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807097047
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A landmark in comparative history and a challenge to scholars of all lands who are trying to learn how we arrived at where we are now. -New York Times Book Review

How the Scots Invented the Modern World

Author: Arthur Herman
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780307420954
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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An exciting account of the origins of the modern world Who formed the first literate society? Who invented our modern ideas of democracy and free market capitalism? The Scots. As historian and author Arthur Herman reveals, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Scotland made crucial contributions to science, philosophy, literature, education, medicine, commerce, and politics—contributions that have formed and nurtured the modern West ever since. Herman has charted a fascinating journey across the centuries of Scottish history. Here is the untold story of how John Knox and the Church of Scotland laid the foundation for our modern idea of democracy; how the Scottish Enlightenment helped to inspire both the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution; and how thousands of Scottish immigrants left their homes to create the American frontier, the Australian outback, and the British Empire in India and Hong Kong. How the Scots Invented the Modern World reveals how Scottish genius for creating the basic ideas and institutions of modern life stamped the lives of a series of remarkable historical figures, from James Watt and Adam Smith to Andrew Carnegie and Arthur Conan Doyle, and how Scottish heroes continue to inspire our contemporary culture, from William “Braveheart” Wallace to James Bond. And no one who takes this incredible historical trek will ever view the Scots—or the modern West—in the same way again.

A Culture of Growth

Author: Joel Mokyr
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400882915
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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During the late eighteenth century, innovations in Europe triggered the Industrial Revolution and the sustained economic progress that spread across the globe. While much has been made of the details of the Industrial Revolution, what remains a mystery is why it took place at all. Why did this revolution begin in the West and not elsewhere, and why did it continue, leading to today's unprecedented prosperity? In this groundbreaking book, celebrated economic historian Joel Mokyr argues that a culture of growth specific to early modern Europe and the European Enlightenment laid the foundations for the scientific advances and pioneering inventions that would instigate explosive technological and economic development. Bringing together economics, the history of science and technology, and models of cultural evolution, Mokyr demonstrates that culture—the beliefs, values, and preferences in society that are capable of changing behavior—was a deciding factor in societal transformations. Mokyr looks at the period 1500–1700 to show that a politically fragmented Europe fostered a competitive "market for ideas" and a willingness to investigate the secrets of nature. At the same time, a transnational community of brilliant thinkers known as the “Republic of Letters” freely circulated and distributed ideas and writings. This political fragmentation and the supportive intellectual environment explain how the Industrial Revolution happened in Europe but not China, despite similar levels of technology and intellectual activity. In Europe, heterodox and creative thinkers could find sanctuary in other countries and spread their thinking across borders. In contrast, China’s version of the Enlightenment remained controlled by the ruling elite. Combining ideas from economics and cultural evolution, A Culture of Growth provides startling reasons for why the foundations of our modern economy were laid in the mere two centuries between Columbus and Newton.

Science and the Modern World

Author: A. N. Whitehead
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521237785
Format: PDF, ePub
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Alfred North Whitehead's 1925 volume was a groundbreaking and important book that redefined the concept of modern science. In emphasising the position of science as a culturally connected activity, Whitehead anticipated arguments that would come to dominate the philosophy of science in the latter part of the twentieth century.