Millennium: From Religion to Revolution: How Civilization Has Changed Over a Thousand Years by Ian Mortimer
The last thousand years of human history is story of advances and declines, challenges, failures, and successes. There is no consistent plot, no preordained or inevitable conclusion, but there is always change. In this book, Medieval scholar Ian Mortimer summarizes those changes, devoting a chapter to each of the last ten centuries, highlighting the major changes, and identifying the one person who was, in his opinion, the greatest agent of change. I can’t say I necessarily agree with all of his choices, but he’s the historian. I’m just a guy who writes science fiction stories. His opinion is undoubtedly far better informed than my own, however I find his conclusion about where humanity is headed in the future a bit pessimistic. My objections involve likely advances in technology, and a disagreement that standard of living is measurable in terms of income and consumption. Like him, I expect humanity to muddle through, but I don’t agree that human societies will become “more hierarchical and less liberal.” (Pg. 329) I’ll refrain from writing a lengthy exposition because it’s not really relevant for a book review and because I have other things to do today.