This is the epic story of the universe and our place in it, from 13.8 billion years ago to the remote future.
David Christian is a distinguished professor in modern history at Macquarie University in Australia and the co-founder, with Bill Gates, of The Big History Project, which has built a free online syllabus on the history of the universe that unites different disciplines and is taught in schools all over the world. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford and is a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities. He has given keynote talks at conferences all over the world, including Davos and TED, where his talk 'The history of our world in 18 minutes' has been viewed over seven million times.
If you read one book this year, make it this one -- Fareed Zakaria,
A journey through billions of years that nails home the point: Life is a miracle ... [A] remarkably cogent and compelling history of everything * Washington Post *
Rather like the Big Bang, the book is awe-inspiring. The processes it describes are all familiar, but I'd never seen them explained with such clarity and verve ... Superb -- Gerard Degroot * The Times *
[Origin Story is] long-haul science with wit and oomph * Nature *
Christian tells this story very well, providing, in effect, a short course in modern science. This is a brief history of the universe, and an excellent one * Wall Street Journal *
I have long been a fan of David Christian. In Origin Story, he elegantly weaves evidence and insights from many scientific and historical disciplines into a single, accessible historical narrative -- Bill Gates
In Origin Story, David Christian has found a spectacular way to use history to put order in the entire set of our knowledge about the world. This is a wonderful achievement -- Carlo Rovelli * author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time *
Origin Story is a majestic distillation of our current understanding of the birth of the universe, of the solar system, of the oceans, of mountains and minerals, of all life on earth and of the driving dynamics of human culture and achievement. All of this in just over 300 pages of captivating prose that weaves together innumerable insights from the sciences, arts and humanities. With fascinating ideas on every page and the page turning energy of a good thriller, this is a landmark work that comes at a time when it has never been more important for humanity to have a clearer, more informed understanding of our place on earth and of the earth's place in the cosmos. A spellbinding synthesis -- Ken Robinson * educator and bestselling author of The Element and You, Your Child and School *
A remarkable book that puts us self-important humans in our proper place in the cosmos, yet also explains why the story of human culture and knowledge - what Christian calls collective learning - matters for understanding our present world and shaping its future -- Merry Wiesner-Hanks, President of the World History Association