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  • Grand Transitions

  • How the Modern World Was Made
  • De : Vaclav Smil
  • Lu par : Robert Fass
  • Durée : 16 h et 15 min

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Grand Transitions

De : Vaclav Smil
Lu par : Robert Fass
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    What makes the modern world work? The answer to this deceptively simple question lies in four "grand transitions" of civilization - in populations, agriculture, energy, and economics - that have transformed the way we live.

    Societies that have undergone all four transitions emerge into an era of radically different population dynamics, food surpluses (and waste), abundant energy use, and expanding economic opportunities. Simultaneously, in other parts of the world, hundreds of millions remain largely untouched by these developments.

    Through erudite storytelling, Vaclav Smil investigates the fascinating and complex interactions of these transitions. He argues that the moral imperative to share modernity's benefits has become more acute with increasing economic inequality, but addressing this imbalance would make it exceedingly difficult to implement the changes necessary for the long-term preservation of the environment. Thus, managing the fifth transition - environmental changes from natural-resource depletion, biodiversity loss, and global warming - will determine the success or eventual failure of the grand transitions that have made the world we live in today.

    ©2021 Oxford University Press (P)2021 Tantor

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    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • jaga
    • 17/04/2022


    There is a lot in this book. Most of the book reads like an academic paper but the last chapter brings it all together. A like how Smil looks at all the different aspects / data relating to a topic and gives a comprehensive set of views on the way one could interpret that data. As opposed to cherry picking data to fit a predetermined narrative, which he calls out several well known commentators for doing just that. I love Smil’s work, the only thing holding me back from giving a 5 is the readability of the book.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Sam J.
    • 29/08/2022

    Nihil novum sub soli

    This is one of the most difficult-to-read books I’ve put myself through lately because of the torrential cascade of measurements, numbers, dates, percentages, and rates of change committed to pages for “funzies”. If you come to accept the data that Smil is proposing as true, it is hard to argue with his parting conclusion of “there is nothing new under the sun” because despite being a data agglomeration of sorts, this is really a historical view of humanity condensed to just numbers. If you can tolerate that, you know what you’re getting by choosing to read this. It’s an anthropologist data history book.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Dan Ziemer
    • 28/06/2022


    Nobody I know covers their subjects as thoroughly as Bacliv Smil - and he does so in a manner that invites thought and contemplation long after the book is finished.