A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History. By Manuel De Landa. New York: Zone Books, 1997. Pp. 333. $16.00
Philip Coelho ()
The Journal of Economic History, 2001, vol. 61, issue 4, 1165-1166
The title of this book is an outline of De Landa's agenda. He wants to convey his philosophical approach to history using examples chosen from the last 1,000 years of human history. â€œNonlinearâ€ refers to feedbacks and interactions that prevent movement toward a unique equilibrium. The author interprets history through a series of extended metaphors that link biology, geology, and linguistics to human history. The book is divided into sections corresponding to these classifications. The first, â€œLavas and Magmas,â€ makes connections between history and geology; the second, â€œFlesh and Genes,â€ connects history and biology; and the third, â€œMemes and Norms,â€ connects history with linguistics. Within each section De Landa illustrates his approach with examples from the (approximately) last â€œthousand years of nonlinear history.â€
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