• Stranger Than We Can Imagine

  • Making Sense of the Twentieth Century
  • By: John Higgs
  • Narrated by: John Higgs
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 08-27-15
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.0 (1 rating)

Regular price: $20.24

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Publisher's Summary

The 20th-century should make sense. It's the period of history that we know the most about, an epic geo-political narrative that runs through World War One, the great depression, World War Two, the American century and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
But somehow that story doesn't quite lead into the world we find ourselves in now, this bewildering 21st-century, adrift in a network of constant surveillance, unsustainable competition, tsunamis of trivia and extraordinary opportunity.
Time, then, for a new perspective. With John Higgs as our guide, we step off the main path and wander through some of the more curious backwaters of the 20th-century, exploring familiar and unfamiliar territory alike, finding fresh insight on our journey to the present day. We travel in the company of some of the most radical artists, scientists, geniuses and crazies of their age.
They show us that great innovations such as relativity, cubism, quantum mechanics, postmodernism and chaos maths are not the incomprehensible, abstract horrors that we assume them to be, but signposts that bring us to the world we live in now.
John Higgs brings us an alternative history of the strangest of centuries. He shows us how the elegant, clockwork universe of the Victorians became increasingly woozy and uncertain; and how we discovered that our world is not just stranger than we imagine but, in the words of Sir Arthur Eddington, "stranger than we can imagine".
©2015 John Higgs (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"It was formerly held that a comprehensive history of the last century would never be written, by virtue of the fact that we knew too much about that frenetic and eventful period. Now, with the era's ink barely dry, John Higgs demolishes this assumption with a breathtakingly lucid and coherent map of the tectonic shifts which drastically reshaped the human psyche, and the human world, within a hundred thrilling, terrifying years... An illuminating work of massive insight, in Stranger Than We Can Imagine John Higgs informs us of exactly where we've been and, by extension, where we are. I cannot recommend this magnificent work too highly." (Alan Moore, author of V For Vendetta, Watchmen and Lost Girls)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Howard on 09-07-15

Tour through our times.

Higgs has done an excellent job of making sense of the last Century from a Western perspective. Insightful, fun and thought provoking. I recommend you listen, learn and above all enjoy.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Md Lachlan on 02-29-16

Fascinating, clear and amusing

The interaction among science, culture and the arts. I have read much of his source material but it was very useful to have it all brought together in one book with all the parallels and interactions pointed out.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer on 03-24-17

Addictive - I listened to it 3 times

What made the experience of listening to Stranger Than We Can Imagine the most enjoyable?

The narration of the fascinating subject by the author

What other book might you compare Stranger Than We Can Imagine to, and why?

Non I have read - although it is compatible with the work of the theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli - especially his "Seven Brief Lessons on Physics"

Have you listened to any of John Higgs’s other performances? How does this one compare?


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No - it needed time for reflection

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