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The Invention of Yesterday

The Invention of Yesterday

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

A sweeping global human 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 ever closer intertwinement that is the defining feature of our world today.

Forty thousand years ago, the human species existed as thousands of small, virtually autonomous bands, roaming a world almost entirely untouched by humans, each band in contact with a few neighbors but unaware of the thousands of others spread across the planet. Today, no life can unfold in isolation from the general flux and flow of human activity. Every habitable inch of the planet is inhabited by humans, there is no place left untouched by our presence, and events anywhere on this planet can have consequences felt by people anywhere else on this planet. The center of the world no longer seems to be this place or that place but the system as a whole.

This journey–from vulnerable small groups to a planet-encompassing hive–is the subject of Tamim Ansary’s elegant and gripping history. His object is not just to describe the journey, but to illuminate the many essential human qualities that it preserves–our various gods and laws, our rulers and bankers, our philosophers and outcasts, each of which is a continuous presence in the various global cultures. They are the survivors in the human drama, whereas nation states, corporations, policies and political ideas are all susceptible to violent upheaval and dramatic erasure.

Our current moment, Ansary shows, is one of revolutionary reinvention, as old habits are cast aside and reconfigured by the ever more intertwined world we have created. The whole of human history, after all, has been leading up to it.
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Genre: Nonfiction / History / World

On Sale: October 1st 2019

Price: $18.99 / $23.99 (CAD)

Page Count: 448

ISBN-13: 9781610397971

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

Praise for Destiny Disrupted:

"Ansary has written an informative and thoroughly engaging look at the past, present and future of Islam. With his seamless and charming prose, he challenges conventional wisdom and appeals for a fuller understanding of how Islam and the world at large have shaped each other. And that makes this book, in this uneasy, contentious post 9/11 world, a must-read."—Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns
Praise for Games without Rules

"In "Games Without Rules," Tamim Ansary has written the most engaging, accessible and insightful history of Afghanistan. With gifted prose and revealing details, Ansary gives us the oft-neglected Afghan perspective of the wars, foreign meddling and palace intrigue that has defined the past few centuries between the Indus and Oxus. This brilliant book should be required reading for anyone involved in the current war there -- and anyone who wants to understand why Afghanistan will not be at peace anytime soon."—Rajiv Chandrasekaran
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