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David Christian recommends

The historian shares his selection of the best further reading on big history and deep time, including the story of the field itself.

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    Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present

    Cynthia Stokes Brown
    The New Press, 2008

    The first-ever college textbook on big history, this title focuses on the idea of increasing complexity and is structured, like the big history project courses, accordingly. Most of the second half explores human history; the final chapter looks to the future.

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    Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos

    Eric Chaisson
    Columbia University Press, 2007

    Chaisson is one of the pioneers of big history, having taught such courses from an astronomer's point of view since the early 1980s. This is his telling of the big history story, showing how increasing complexity is sustained by increasing energy flows.

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    Big History and the Future of Humanity

    Fred Spier
    Wiley-Blackwell, 2011

    Spier has taught big history in Amsterdam since the mid-1990s. He has a background in biochemistry as well as in anthropology, so has the perfect training for thinking about the field. In this book, he develops the ideas of Eric Chaisson and explores the important notion of 'Goldilocks conditions,' showing how complexity appears only in very special places in the universe, where the conditions were 'just right.'

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    International Big History Association

    The IBHA has an exhaustive list of references and resources related to big history.