One of the current terms for describing the contemporary world is “the Age of the Anthropocene,” meaning the” age of man” as a new geological age based on an unprecedented human ability to alter the planet. It is a useful and striking term, but I have always felt its shortcoming is that it reduces human history to a phase of natural history. Human domination of the globe is also a phase of human history and needs to be examined and understood in this dimension too. This point was made in a terrific review of The Triumph of Human Empire that appeared yesterday in Times Higher Education.
Now available from the University of Chicago Press.
BlogMay 28, 2016Next weekend I will be attending my 50th reunion at Wellesley College. Here (slightly edited) is what I wrote last fall for the Wellesley ’66 Class Reunion Book: Our personal biographies will be all over the map, but almost all of us share a collective biography, which goes something like this: Born at the end of three... more»February 20, 2016After long distraction, I have been catching up on movies, along with much else. Last week I got around to renting “Inside Out.” I was especially eager to see it because of rave reviews and also because it stole my title. Two years ago, when I had the honor of giving the da Vinci Prize Address before the Society of the History of... more»April 12, 2015My brother and I are trying to sell 280 acres of mixed farm/forest land near Laurel, Delaware. This has been an education in the value, or lack of it, of some rural land these days. Chuck and I inherited this land from our mother upon her death in 2005. Her father, our grandfather, had been born and raised on Spring Garden Farm, only... more»December 1, 2014And that advice [about The Triumph of Human Empire] is given in bold face! Talk about rave reviews! It’s from a Nov. 18, 2014 blog post by Wheeler Winston Dixon, Ryan Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska. After quoting the publisher’s description of The Triumph of Human Empire, Prof. Dixon... more»