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A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History

by Manuel De Landa - £20.00  MIT Press (2000)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780942299328 | ISBN 10: 0942299329

Following in the wake of his groundbreaking work, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines, Manuel De Landa presents a brilliant, radical synthesis of historical developments during the last one thousand years. He sketches the outlines of a renewed materialist history in the tradition of Fernand Braudel, Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari, while engaging - in an unprecedented manner - the critical new understanding of material processes derived from the sciences of dynamics. Working against prevailing attitudes that see history merely as the arena of texts, discourse, ideologies and metaphors, De Landa traces the concrete movements and interplays of matter and energy through human populations in the last millenium. The result is an entirely novel approach to the study of human societies and their always mobile, semi-stable forms, cities, economics, technologies and languages.

De Landa atttacks three domains that have given shape to human societies. In every case, economics, biology and linguistics - he discloses the self-directed processes of matter and energy interfacing with the whim and will of human history itself to form a panoramic vision of the West, free of rigid teleology and naive notions of progress, and even more important, free of any deterministic source for its urban, institutional and technological forms. The source of all concrete forms in the West's history are shown to derive from internal morphogenetic capabilities that lie within the flow of matter-energy itself.

(Price & availability last checked: August 2018)

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In booklists: World History,
In categories: History & Biography,

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