Invention of Yesterday: A 50,000-Year History of Human Culture, Conflict, and Connection

The Invention of Yesterday: A 50,000-Year History of Human Culture, Conflict, and Connection

By Tamim Ansary

The author offers a sweeping history that describes the separate beginnings of the world's major cultural movements--Confucianism, Islam, Judeo-Christianity, and Nomadism--and the dramatic, sometimes ruinous, sometimes transformative effects of their intertwinement that is the defining feature of the world today.


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Book Information

Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publish Date: 10/01/2019
Pages: 448
ISBN-13: 9781610397964
ISBN-10: 1610397967
Language: English

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From language to culture to cultural collision: the story of how humans invented history, from the Stone Age to the Virtual Age
Traveling across millennia, weaving the experiences and world views of cultures both extinct and extant, The Invention of Yesterday shows that the engine of history is not so much heroic (battles won), geographic (farmers thrive), or anthropogenic (humans change the planet) as it is narrative.
Many thousands of years ago, when we existed only as countless small autonomous bands of hunter-gatherers widely distributed through the wilderness, we began inventing stories--to organize for survival, to find purpose and meaning, to explain the unfathomable. Ultimately these became the basis for empires, civilizations, and cultures. And when various narratives began to collide and overlap, the encounters produced everything from confusion, chaos, and war to cultural efflorescence, religious awakenings, and intellectual breakthroughs.
Through vivid stories studded with insights, Tamim Ansary illuminates the world-historical consequences of the unique human capacity to invent and communicate abstract ideas. In doing so, he also explains our ever-more-intertwined present: the narratives now shaping us, the reasons we still battle one another, and the future we may yet create.

About the Author

Tamim Ansary is the author of Destiny Disrupted and Games without Rules , among other books. For ten years he wrote a monthly column for Encarta.

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