Stranger Than We Can Imagine

Stranger Than We Can Imagine

An Alternative History of the 20th Century

Book - 2015
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The extraordinary story of the 20th century, as told from the furthest fringes of science, art and culture. For readers of Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything .

Before 1900, history was an account of great discoveries that actually made sense. People understand innovations like the steam engine, agriculture, or electricity. The twentieth century, by contrast, gave us quantum entanglement, cubism, relativity, psychedelics, postmodernism, chaos maths, and the Somme.
This is the story of that confusing century as told through the ideas produced at the furthest fringes of our sciences, arts, and culture. Its cast includes well-known geniuses such as Albert Einstein, Francis Crick, and Pablo Picasso, lesser known geniuses like Edward Lorenz, Sergey Korolyov, or Shigeru Miyamoto, and infamous but influential ne'er-do-wells like Timothy Leary, Aleister Crowley and Keith Richards. In this company we take a tour through ideas as strange as general relativity, DNA, the subconscious, Gaia theory, and Dada.
In this brilliantly written and original book, John Higgs explores, with great clarity and wit, the extremes of twentieth century thought, and in doing so shows how a world of empires became a world of individuals. You will never see the twentieth century in the same way again.
Publisher: Toronto :, Signal,, 2015
ISBN: 9780771038471
Branch Call Number: ANF 909.82 HIG
Characteristics: viii, 341 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Aug 01, 2016

Just excellent - departing from the typical politics-driven explanations of history, Higgs focuses on how, in just the last century, revolutionary scientific discoveries, mirrored in art, literature, philosophy and spiritual practices, are the best explanation for our shifting worldviews, paradigms, and practices.

rayhpl Mar 18, 2016

Weaving together seemingly incoherent themes and ideas, author John Higgs provides a fun and enlightening interpretation of the 20th century, where "strange" perspectives brought some sense to a chaotic world.

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