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What on earth Happened?In Brief [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Lloyd

Kindle-Preis: EUR 7,87 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

'Compelling remarkably far-reaching and even-handed' Sunday Times 'An ambitious history of the planet from the Big Bang to the present day' Daily Telegraph Books of the Year

Kurzbeschreibung

How old is the universe? When did life on earth begin? What happened to the dinosaurs? How was the moon created? How did ancient Chinese science shape the modern world? How did Islam trigger globalization? Are humans really superior to other living things? And how can you fit the complete history of the planet into one pocket-sized book?These are just some of the questions answered in Christopher Lloyd's acclaimed 13.7 billion year history - now in brief. In this thrill-ride across millennia and continents, the complete history of the planet comes to life: from the Earth's fiery birth to its near-obliteration in the Triassic period, and from the first signs of human life to the tentative future of a world with a burgeoning population and a global warming crisis. Covering a wide range of topics including astrophysics, zoology, and sociology, and complete with maps and illustrations, What on Earth Happened? ... In Brief is the endlessly entertaining story of the planet, life, and people.

Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1744 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 336 Seiten
  • Verlag: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (1. Juli 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B002U2DQG6
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Nicht aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #538.996 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

  •  Ist der Verkauf dieses Produkts für Sie nicht akzeptabel?

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 von 5 Sternen  26 Rezensionen
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The History of...well, everything 31. Oktober 2008
Von B. Mann - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
The Gist: Easy to read summary of all of history, with key details and dates, entertaining stories, trivia, good index, and illustrations/photos.
Reading Level: Very easy. Works for adults and teens. G-rated material
The Audience: 1. Those who want to refresh those high school or college in-depth courses in biology, evolution, anthropology, or any period of human history. 2. Those who are generally curious and just want the "big picture" of how everything on earth came to be.

The Full Review:
Here's the challenge: Summarize 13.7 BILLION years of history. And do it in 400 pages. "What on Earth?" accepts that challenge, and the result is a text that is readable (although a bit simple), educational, and often entertaining.

Depth? Of course not. Think about it: 13,700,000,000 years in 400 pages? It would not be humanly possible to dive into deep detail. But detail is not the purpose here. The challenge is breadth, not depth, and this book's 50,000-foot view allows you to see the beauty of the forest, rather than the specifics of the trees. (Although I should mention the book does nicely explain how trees came to be.)

The author sets a 24-hour clock as the metaphor. Every page is labeled with the elapsed time since the zero hour of the Big Bang. As the book counts down the hours, minutes, and seconds until present day, the author makes smart choices about what facts to pluck from the infinity of history, starting with Big Bang, when matter is created (00:00). Life itself isn't even a possibility until amino acids appear as a byproduct of climatic upheaval (5:19). Much later, elevated oxygen levels lead to the world's largest creatures (22:24), while a mere 20 "minutes" after that, virtually all animals are wiped out with the Permian Extinction (22:43).

In the remaining 90 minutes of the countdown, history explodes with the re-emergence, ebb, and flow of species as the geography and climate of the earth dictate the fate of living things. Once humans appear, the book becomes a synopsis of physical anthropology and then human history. We humans haven't been here long: the entirety of human history occupies the mere last ten seconds of the countdown. Yet, those ten seconds take fully 300 pages to go from 70,000 BC to 2005 AD, from Homo habilis to the iPod.

A book comprised of historical facts could grow dry. Happily, the author is a journalist as well as historian, and maintains narrative flow by interspersing stories about how key discoveries were made. And the book covers enough firsts, biggests, and oddests to please trivia buffs. (We learn, for example, which animal had the first neck, when the term Christianity first appeared, and the origin of the word "weird.") The drawings and photographs are nice, but are not the strongest point of the book. They are effective in breaking up the text. Other nice touches are a gallery of "Top Ten" lists and an extensive index.

Admittedly, if you want deep detail you won't find it. Some may find the writing style too simple. Some will cry foul because the author treats as fact human-caused global warming. Some won't like that the author accepts Darwinian evolution, or that a secular playing field is set for god(s) and religions.

But in the end, what distinguishes this book is its respect and admiration for way geologic, climatic, biologic, and sociologic forces interact with each other throughout time. Tectonic plates aren't just rocks that move, they are nature's platforms for creating new species. Pre-historic reptiles become the coal that generates the heat that smelts the iron forged into the weapons that conquer societies. The true value of the 50,000-foot level is that the reader can reflect on the elegance of how everything is interconnected.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent book for young adults. 23. Dezember 2008
Von Kersi Von Zerububbel - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
This is an excellent book for young adults, ages 12 through twentyone, maybe. The layout and design of the book is excellent. The font size and color scheme makes for a easy read but alas for adult audiences the material lacks depth, perspective, and the connectivity of history. The writing style is a tad "talk down" for anyone even superfically versed in science and history. Therefore I came to the conclusion that the text is great for the teenager genere. Also being a history of "everything" I did not expect too much depth and the book met my expectations. You will get a 32,000 foot view of some salients of history.

However if you want a quick, easy read on important signposts then this book will suffice. My guess is this book will not be a "keeper" in your library but a text that is not bad and one that is good for a quick perusal.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A very readable history 20. November 2008
Von Jeffrey Phillips - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
What on Earth Happened is an exceptional book - a history that reads like fiction. I found the book very interesting and engaging, regardless of the time epoch or character under consideration. The book opens at the beginning, literally and figuratively at the beginning of time, and works its way through time. The book uses the 24 hour clock metaphor to demonstrate where different epochs fall in the 24 hour clock. Almost half the book is dedicated to recorded human history, which all falls in the last few minutes of the 23rd hour on the 24 hour clock.

The book does a good job of covering all the basics, such as some suppositions about the Big Bang and how it happened, how the earth and other planets came into being and how basic life evolved on the earth. Rather than a very dry, technical description, the text flows very nicely, even though you are reading something that you already know the ending, the book's pace and tone keep the reader engaged.

There's an especially nice overview of human history, covering all the major historical timeframes and figures, and shedding new light on some who had a big impact on history but don't seem to gain as much coverage as perhaps they deserve (Tamarlane for example).

You don't read this book in one sitting, like a novel, but you could. Instead, what I found myself doing is keeping the book handy and reaching in to find insights or answer questions that my nine year old has about history. And no matter what we look up, we find ourselves reading beyond what we originally came to find. Try that with most books about history.

The book includes a number of excellent illustrations, but I wish it had more maps - that is probably one of the few quibbles I had with the book. If you want one book to cover the sweep of history, and are interested in a very broad, inclusive view that is readable and approachable by just about any age or interest, this is the book for you.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A lively, vivid analysis of both earth and human history 15. Dezember 2008
Von Midwest Book Review - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
How old is the universe, and when did life begin? Who discovered writing and how did human culture evolve? WHAT ON EARTH HAPPENED? Blends the history of earth science and the history of humans on earth in a wide-ranging survey accessible to general-interest audiences and libraries catering to them. This lively, vivid analysis of both earth and human history makes for an engrossing read any general lending library will find appealing.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great housewarming gift, including yourself! 17. November 2008
Von Michael Heath - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
This coffee-table book would make a great housewarming gift or serve as both a general reference book on science and world history. Christopher Lloyd presents a smartly chosen set of subjects that provides the reader with status quo explanations of "The Planet, Life, and People from the Big Bang to the Present Day". His essays are brief but comprehensive, and judicious in sticking to peer-accepted understandings.

The format is presented somewhat chronologically by subject matter, which includes the following four parts: "Mother Nature", "Homo Sapiens", "Settling In" - the beginnings of human civilization, and finally "Going Global" - which explains much like Jared Diamond's more in-depth and highly recommended Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed do the driving forces between humans and the natural world such as how the exploitation of natural resources led to the success or failure of civilizations.

This book would be particularly valuable to computer illiterates with a very casual interest in science and history, given its encyclopedic format. Also anyone who likes to read short snippets of non-fiction that is instructive will enjoy this book. I like to read at least two science books a year and I believe this book will help me to develop a more comprehensive reading list given the breadth of topics covered here that I've ignored in the past to my detriment; in fact I've already started searching for a good book to explain the interaction between Africa's natural resources and their exploitation by Europe in the 19th century. Another reader may be surprised to discover how far science has come in its understanding of human evolution or historians' understanding of Asian influence in Western Civilization or vice versa.
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