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Stranger Than We Can Imagine: An Alternative History of the 20th Century

by (Soft Skull Press)

(11 reviews)

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The extraordinary story of the twentieth century, as told from the furthest fringes of science, art, and culture.

Before 1900, history was an account of great discoveries that actually made sense. People understand innovations like the steam engine, agriculture, or electricity. The twentieth century, by contrast, gave us quantum entanglement, cubism, relativity, psychedelics, postmodernism, chaos maths, and the Somme.

This is the story of that confusing century as told through the ideas produced at the furthest fringes of our sciences, arts, and culture. Its cast includes well-known geniuses such as Albert Einstein, Francis Crick, and Pablo Picasso, lesser known geniuses like Edward Lorenz, Sergey Korolyov, or Shigeru Miyamoto, and infamous but influential ne'er-do-wells like Timothy Leary, Aleister Crowley and Keith Richards. In this company we take a tour through ideas as strange as general relativity, DNA, the subconscious, Gaia theory, and Dada.

In this brilliantly written and original book, John Higgs explores, with great clarity and wit, the extremes of twentieth century thought, and in doing so shows how a world of empires became a world of individuals. You will never see the twentieth century in the same way again.

"An illuminating work of massive insight." -- Alan Moore, author of V for Vendetta

"A beautiful, erudite, funny and enlightening tour of the widening boundaries of uncertainty revealed in the twentieth century." -- Robin Ince

"Hugely entertaining and thought-provoking." -- Scott Pack

"To paraphrase Colonel Kurtz, reading John Higgs is like being shot with a diamond. Suddenly everything becomes terrifyingly clear." -- Mojo

"In Stranger Than We Can Imagine, John Higgs broadens his intellectual reach to encompass modernism, situationism, chaos theory, indeterminacy and almost every other byway of that epoch... A fine example of learning worn lightly." -- New Scientist

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  • The current price of this book is $9.99 last checked one day ago.
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  • The highest price to date was $11.99 last reached on March 25, 2020.
  • This book has been $11.99 11 times since we started tracking it.

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Additional Info

  • Publication Date: November 1, 2018
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Print Length: 351 Pages
  • File Size: 9,509 KB

We last verified the price of this book about one day ago. At that time, the price was $9.99. This price is subject to change. The price displayed on the Amazon.com website at the time of purchase is the price you will pay for this book. Please confirm the price before making any purchases.