Most historians study the smallest slivers of time, emphasizing specific dates, individuals, and documents. But what would it look like to study the whole of history, from the big bang through the present day — and even into the remote future? How would looking at the full span of time change the way we perceive the universe, the earth, and our very existence?
These were the questions David Christian set out to answer when he created the field of “Big History,” the most exciting new approach to understanding where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. In Origin Story, Christian takes readers on a wild ride through the entire 13.8 billion years we’ve come to know as “history.” By focusing on defining events (thresholds), major trends, and profound questions about our origins, Christian exposes the hidden threads that tie everything together — from the creation of the planet to the advent of agriculture, nuclear war, and beyond.
With stunning insights into the origin of the universe, the beginning of life, the emergence of humans, and what the future might bring, Origin Story boldly reframes our place in the cosmos.
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One of America’s most versatile writers, author of bestselling biographies such as Steve Jobs and Benjamin Franklin, has assembled a gallery of portraits of (mostly) Americans that celebreate genius, talent, and versatility, and traces his own education as a writer and biographer.
In this collection of essays, the brilliant, acclaimed biographer Walter Isaacson reflects on lessons to be learned from Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, and other interesting characters he has chronicled both as biographer and journalist. The people he writes about have an awesome intelligence, but that is not the secret to their success. They had qualities that were even more rare, such as imagination and true curiousity.
Isaacson also reflects on how he became a writer, the lessons he learned from various people he met, and the challenges for journalism in the digital age.
He also offers loving tributes to his hometown of New Orleans, which offers many of the ingredients for a creative culture, and to the Louisiana novelist Walker Percy, who was an early mentor. In an anecdotal and personal way, Isaacson describes the joys of writing and the way that tales about the lives of fascinating people can enlighten our own lives.
Most accounts of Nigeria’s colonisation were written by British officials, presenting it as a noble civilising mission to rid Africans of barbaric superstition and corrupt tribal leadership. Thanks to this skewed writing of history, many Nigerians today still have Empire nostalgia and view the
colonial period through rose-tinted glasses.
Max Siollun offers a bold rethink: an unromanticised history, arguing compellingly that colonialism had few benevolent intentions, but many unjust outcomes. It may have ended slavery and human sacrifice, but it was accompanied by extreme violence; ethnic and religious identity were cynically exploited to maintain control, while the forceful remoulding of longstanding legal and social practices permanently altered the culture and internal politics of indigenous communities. The aftershocks of this colonial meddling are still being felt decades after independence. Popular narratives often suggest that the economic and political turmoil are homegrown, but the reality is that Britain created many of Nigeria’s crises, and has left them behind for Nigerians to resolve.
This is a definitive, head-on confrontation with Nigeria’s experience under British rule, showing how it forever changed the country–perhaps cataclysmically.
For a country where heroes are hardly celebrated and epic football is almost forgotten, this book takes the reader on an enthralling historical excursion. The most detailed and certainly the best written account of the pre-Independence history of Nigerian football. Wiebe Boer has combined facts and figures with fluid prose in delivering a most engaging narration.
Fifty years ago, Nigeria endured a period of violent disturbance leading to the breakaway of the Eastern Region under the name Biafra. The resulting conflict (1967-70) aroused shock and protests around the world because of mass starvation in the war zone. While Britain supplied arms to the federal
Nigerian government, and France to the Biafrans, relief agencies with contributions from countless individuals organized a memorable airlift of food and medicine to the Biafrans’ Uli airstrip.
Jonathan Derrick, then a journalist for the London weekly West Africa, followed these events closely and
recorded the war in the magazine’s news pages, right up to the federal forces’ final victory and the remarkable reconciliation between supporters of Biafra–predominantly Igbo–and other Nigerians. He later worked for some years in Nigeria, and has studied much of the material published on the war
Here, he recounts the history of the conflict as documented in West Africa, referring to later literature on and analysis of the events, which inspired passion at the time and have provoked debate ever since. His account deals with myths, misapprehensions and controversies surrounding the conflict, while recalling the tragic facts of a grim episode in African history.
The Ogoni of the Eastern Niger Delta are an ancient African community in Southern Nigeria, whose history dates back to BC times. Their history is rich in customs, traditions, economics, politics and culture, which date back to Herodotus, the Greek historian, who wrote about the Silent Trade in West Africa”, in the 4th century BC, a story also reported by the Ogoni in their oral tradition.
Scholars frequently relate the history of West Africa to the coming of the white man into the region. The Ogoni of the Eastern Niger Delta shows that the colonialists later came to see a lot of innovations by the Ogoni; such as trade, money, industry, agriculture, leadership training, government, law, music, sea travel, war and more.
This book is a giant attempt to record and preserve these cultures for future study and development. There is a seperate volume containing fieldwork data on almost every subject for researchers to consult.