A great historian can make clear the connections between the first Homo sapiens and today's version of the species, and a great storyteller can make those connections come alive. David Christian is both, and This Fleeting World: A Short History of Humanity makes the journey - from the earliest foraging era to our own modern era - a fascinating one. Enter This Fleeting World - and give up the preconception that anything old is boring.
David Christian is a professor of world history at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and co-founder, with Bill Gates, of the Big History Project. In 1989, Christian began teaching the first course on big history, an interdisciplinary field that examines history starting with the Big Bang, and his work came to the attention of Bill Gates through a video course produced by The Teaching Company. He is the author of Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History, which won the World History Association book prize (2004), and is writing a history of Central Asia. He is also the author of Living Water: Vodka and Russian Society on the Eve of Emancipation and (with R. E. F. Smith) Bread and Salt: A Social and Economic History of Food and Drink in Russia. He has spoken about big history at the TED Conference, the World Economic Forum, and on the Comedy Central program The Colbert Report.