The Human Web: A Bird's-eye View of World History
Why did the first civilizations emerge when and where they did? How did Islam become a unifying force in the world of its birth? What enabled the West to project its goods and power around the world from the fifteenth century on? Why was agriculture invented seven times and the steam engine just once?World-historical questions such as these, the subjects of major works by Jared Diamond, David Landes, and others, are now of great moment as global frictions increase. In a spirited and original contribution to this quickening discussion, two renowned historians, father and son, explore the webs that have drawn humans together in patterns of interaction and exchange, cooperation and competition, since earliest times. Whether small or large, loose or dense, these webs have provided the medium for the movement of ideas, goods, power, and money within and across cultures, societies, and nations. From the thin, localized webs that characterized agricultural communities twelve thousand years ago, through the denser, more interactive metropolitan webs that surrounded ancient Sumer, Athens, and Timbuktu, to the electrified global web that today envelops virtually the entire world in a maelstrom of cooperation and competition, J. R. McNeill and William H. McNeill show human webs to be a key component of world history and a revealing framework of analysis. Avoiding any determinism, environmental or cultural, the McNeills give us a synthesizing picture of the big patterns of world history in a rich, open-ended, concise account.
What people are saying - Write a review
I am required to buy and read this book for a module in my History Degree.
I have to say that I find the book, personally, very dry and quite boring. There have been chapters that I have, not enjoyed, but found interesting. There are also parts of the book that I have found useful for revision and essays.
Overall though, I think the book is written in a poor style; Bits of information are thrown into different chapters which can be a little confusion - I haven't used the book for revision that much and have resorted to other books and the internet. The chapters become boring and take a while to get to the main point, resulting in a loss of interets by the time I actually find the information I'm looking for.
For my weekly required reading though, with the lecturer showing which chapters we have to actually read, it's good for my class.
I love to learn about world history but NOT in this manner. The book is extremely boring, and advanced, and dry. The most tedious and boring book i have ever read!
THE HUMAN APPRENTICESHIP
SHIFTING TO FOOD PRODUCTION 110003000 YEARS AGO
WEBS AND CIVILIZATIONS IN THE OLD WORLD 3500 BCE200 CE
The First Civilizations
Rise of Bureaucratic Empire
Portable Congregational Religions
The World the Web Made 15OO18OO
BREAKING OLD CHAINS TIGHTENING THE NEW WEB 17501914
The Progress of the Web
Igniting the Population Explosion
New Foundations for Politics
The Industrial Revolution
Impacts of the Industrial Revolution
Greek and Roman Civilization
Population Environment and Disease
THE GROWTH OF WEBS IN THE OLD WORLD AND AMERICA 2001OOO CE
Expanding and Thickening the Old World Web
New Roles for Religion
Emergence of an American Web
THICKENING WEBS 10001500
How China Became the First Market Society
The Transformation of Islam 1OOO15OO
Christendoms Thickening Web
The Old World Webs Pacific Flank
Southern and Northern Frontiers of the Old World Web
The American Webs
SPINNING THE WORLDWIDE WEB 14501800
The Worlds Webs as of 145O
Fusing and Extending the Worlds Webs 145O18OO
Abolition of Slavery and Serfdom
Globalization in the Age of Imperialism
STRAINS ON THE WEB THE WORLD SINCE 1890
Communications and Ideas
The Marriage of Science and Technology
Population and Urbanization
Energy and Environment
War and Depression 191441
War and the Long Doom Since 1941
BIG PICTURES AND LONG PROSPECTS by JR McNeill
by William H McNeill