A Short History of the Future

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University of Chicago Press, 1999 - Social Science - 324 pages
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W. Warren Wagar's A Short History of the Future is a memoir of postmodern times, cast as a history. This powerful and visionary book is narrated by a far-future historian, Peter Jensen, who leaves this account of the world from the 1990s to the opening of the twenty-third century as a gift to his granddaughter. A combination of fiction and scholarship, this third edition of Wagar's speculative history of the future alternates between descriptions of world events and intimate glimpses of his fictive historian's family into the first centuries of the new millennium.

"Thanks to Wagar's magisterial command of futurist information and theory, his extrapolated near-term future is an incisive, dynamic vision of where we may indeed be heading."—H. Bruce Franklin, Washington Post

"A comprehensive, massively detailed script of a possible near future. . . . Intriguing."—San Francisco Chronicle

"A Short History of the Future reads with ease, raises provocative possibilities and presents challenging occasions for thought and argument."—Chicago Tribune

"A breathtaking future history in the manner of Wells and Stapledon, unnerving in its mixture of fact, fiction, and personal perspectives."—George Zebrowski, New York Review of Science Fiction
 

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A short history of the future

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This future world history is presented as the reminiscences of a 115-year old historian, supposedly transcribed from a "holofilm'' bequeathed to his granddaughter in the year 2200. Wagar is not a ... Read full review

Contents

The Last Age of Capital
9
Interlude
22
Ruling Circle
28
Interlude
44
Fouling West
52
Interlude
69
The Molecular Society
80
Interlude
96
Vested Interests
204
Interlude
221
THE HOUSE OF EARTH
231
The Small Revolution
233
Interlude
245
The Autonomous Society
253
Interlude
267
Transhumanity
274

The Catastrophe of 2044
104
Interlude
121
RED EARTH
127
The Coming of the Commonwealth
129
Interlude
151
The Great Housecleaning
155
Interlude
170
We the People
180
Interlude
197
Envoi to Ingrid
291
A Last Note to the Reader
293
Afterword
295
Chronology
299
Suggested Reading
307
Index of Persons
313
Index of Subjects
317
Copyright

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Page vi - HG Wells, The Shape of Things to Come New York: Macmillan 1933,

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About the author (1999)

W. Warren Wagar is Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of History at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Wagar is the author of many books, including The City of Man: Prophecies of a World Civilization in Twentieth-Century Thought and The Next Three Futures: Paradigms of Things to Come.


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