Climate Change and the Course of Global History presents the first global study by a historian to fully integrate the earth-system approach of the new climate science with the material history of humanity. Part I argues that geological, environmental, and climatic history explain the pattern and pace of biological and human evolution. Part II explores the environmental circumstances of the rise of agriculture and the state in the Early and Mid-Holocene, and presents an analysis of human health from the Paleolithic through the rise of the state. Part III introduces the problem of economic growth and examines the human condition in the Late Holocene from the Bronze Age through the Black Death. Part IV explores the move to modernity, stressing the emerging role of human economic and energy systems as earth-system agents in the Anthropocene. Supported by climatic, demographic, and economic data, this provides a pathbreaking model for historians of the environment, the world, and science.
Introduction: growth, punctuation, and human well-being
Part I. Evolution and Earth Systems:
1. The court jester on the platform of life
2. Human emergences
Part II. Domestication, Agriculture, and the Rise of the State:
3. Agricultural revolutions
4. The Mid-Holocene and the urban-state revolution
5. Human well-being from the Pleistocene to the rise of the state
Part III. Ancient and Medieval Agrarian Societies:
6. Stasis and growth in the epoch of agrarian empires
7. Optimum and crisis in early civilization, 3000–500 BC
8. A global antiquity, 500 BC–AD 542
9. The global dark and middle ages, AD 542–AD 1350
Part IV. Into the Modern Condition:
10. Climate, demography, economy, and polity in the late medieval-early modern world, 1350–1700
11. Global transformations: atlantic origins, 1700–1870
12. Launching modern growth: 1870 to 1945
13. Growth beyond limits: 1945 to present
Coda. A rough journey into an uncertain future
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John L. Brooke is Humanities Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio State University, where he also directs the Center for Historical Research. His books include Columbia Rising: Civil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson (2010), which won the Best Book Prize from the Society of the Historians of the Early American Republic; The Heart of the Commonwealth: Society and Political Culture in Worcester County Massachusetts, 1713-1861 (Cambridge University Press, 1994), which won the Merle Curti Award for Intellectual History from the Organization of American Historians; and The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 (Cambridge University Press, 1989), which won the Bancroft Prize for American History. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Antiquarian Society and the Harvard Charles Warren Center.