Where do we come from? How did our ancestors settle this planet? How did the great historic civilizations of the world develop? How does a past so shadowy that it has to be painstakingly reconstructed from fragmentary, largely unwritten records nonetheless make us who and what we are?
These 36 lectures bring you the answers that the latest scientific and archaeological research and theorizing suggest about human origins, how populations developed, and the ways in which civilizations spread throughout the globe.
"Great Conceptually But Becoming Dated"
In Beyond the Blue Horizon, best-selling science historian Brian Fagan tackles his richest topic yet: the enduring mystery of the oceans, the planet’s most forbidding terrain. This is not a tale of Columbus or Hudson, but of much earlier mariners. From the moment when ancient Polynesians first dared to sail beyond the horizon, Fagan vividly explains how our mastery of the oceans has changed history, even before history was written.
Best-selling author Brian Fagan brings early humans out of the deep freeze with his trademark mix of erudition, cutting-edge science, and vivid storytelling. Cro-Magnon reveals human society in its infancy, facing enormous environmental challenges - including a rival species of humans, the Neanderthals. For ten millennia, Cro-Magnons lived side by side with Neanderthals, an encounter that Fagan fills with drama.
"Fact and fiction"
Animals, and our ever-changing relationships with them, have left an indelible mark on human history. From the dawn of our existence, animals and humans have been constantly redefining their relationships with one another, and entire civilizations have risen and fallen upon this curious bond we share with our fellow fauna.
"Odd mix of science, conjecture, and personal opinions"
Elixir spans five thousand years, from the beginnings of civilization to the parched American Sun Belt of today. It is a story of human endeavor: our present-day interaction with this most essential resource has deep roots in the remote past, and every human culture has been shaped by its relationship to water.
"Reminder: Listen to the preview before purchase."
In 1999, few people had thought to examine the effects of climate on civilization. Now, due in part to the groundbreaking work of archaeologist Brian Fagan, climate change is a central issue. Revised and updated 10 years after its first publication, Floods, Famines and Emperors remains the definitive account of how the world's best-known climate event had an indelible impact on history.
"Potentially excellent, heavily flawed"
The history of the Great Warming of a half millennium ago suggests that we may yet be underestimating the power of climate change to disrupt our lives todayand our vulnerability to drought, writes Fagan, is the silent elephant in the room.
"Good book but unpracticed, disjointed narration."
The past fifteen thousand years--the entire span of human civilization--have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice Age, when sea levels were more than 700 feet below modern levels. Over the next eleven millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because they were able to adjust readily to new coastlines.
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. The festival was an immediate success and has become the largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, attracting more than 130,000 book lovers each year.