Books and Articles on Big History

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Selected from [1]:

Walter Alvarez: with P. Claeys, and A. Montanari, "Time-Scale Construction and Periodizing in Big History: From the Eocene-Oligocene Boundary to All of the Past: Geological Society of America, Special Paper, v. 452, 2009, pp. 1–15.

Robert Aunger, "Major Transitions in "Big' History," and "A Rigorous Periodization of 'Big' history," in Technological Forecasting and Social Change 74 (8), 2007, pp. 1137–1178).

Cynthia Stokes Brown. Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present, New York: New Press, 2007.

Eric Chaisson:

Cosmic Evolution: The Rise of Complexity in Nature, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001.

"Cosmic Origins: A Logarithmic rendering of Look-Back Time," Wright Center for Science Education, Tufts University, 2001; running time—12 minutes (

Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos, New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.

—with Dana Berry, "Arrow of Time: A Linear Rendering of Forward Time," Wright Center for Science Education, Tufts University, 2007: (

David Christian:

"The Case for 'Big History,'" The Journal of World History 2 (2), Autumn 1991, pp. 223-238 (

'Maps of Time:' An Introduction to 'Big History,' Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. Winner of the 2005 World History Association award for best book in World History; translations into Spanish ("Mapas del tiempo: introducción a la "Gran Historia," trans. Antonio-Prometeo Moya, Barcelona, Crítica, 2005); and into Chinese (2007).

This Fleeting World: A Short History of Humanity, Great Barrington, Massachusetts: Berkshire Publishing, 2008. Originally published as part of Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History, W.H. McNeill and others (editors). Also published in Korean.

Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity, February 2008 (48 half hour lectures for The Teaching Company).

"Big History: The longest durée," in Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaften, 20. Jg., Band 2, 2009, special issue on Global History, Peer Vries (editor), pp. 91–106.

(forthcoming) –with Cynthia Brown and Craig Benjamin, Between Nothing and Everything: Big History, Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2011.

Steven Dick and Mark Lupisella (editors), Cosmos & Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context, NASA SP-4802, 2009.

John Mears:

"Connections and Continuities: Integrating World History into Longer Analytical Frameworks," in Historically Speaking 6 (5), May-June 2005, pp. 31–34.

"Implications of the Evolutionary Epic for the Study of Human History," pp. 135–144, in Cheryl Genet and others (editors), The Evolutionary Epic: Sciences Story and Humanity's Response, Santa Margarita, California: Collins Foundation Press, 2009.

(forthcoming) – To Be Human: Perspectives on Our Common History. The first six chapters deal directly with Big History.

Akop Nazaretyan, "Western and Russian Traditions of Big History: A Philosophical Insight," Journal for General Philosophy of Science (2005) 36: 63–80.

Graeme Snooks

"Big History or Big Theory? Uncovering the Laws of Life." Social Evolution & History 4 (1), 2005, pp. 160–188.

Exploring the Horizons of Big History (Guest editor of a special issue of Social Evolution & History 4 (1), Moscow: Uchitel Publishing House, 2005.

(forthcoming) — Ark of the Sun: The Improbable Voyage of Life, 2010.

Fred Spier:

The Structure of Big History: From the Big Bang until Today, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1996.

"The Ghost of Big History is Roaming the Earth," History & Theory 44, May 2005, pp. 253–264.

"The Small History of the Big History Course at the University of Amsterdam," World History Connected 2 (2), May 2005.

"How Big History Works: Energy Flows and Rise and Demise of Complexity." Social Evolution & History 4 (1), March 2005, pp. 87-135, Moscow: Uchitel Publishing House (downloadable from:

"Why Big History?" in Philosophy, Science & Humanities, Moscow: Russian Ministry of Education 8, 2006, pp. 104–106.

Big History and the Future of Humanity, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.