William H. McNeill is known for his ability to portray the grand sweep of history. The Global Condition is a classic work for understanding the grand sweep of world history in brief compass. Now with a new foreword by J. R. McNeill, this book brings together two of William Hardy McNeill's popular short books and an essay. The Human Condition provides a provocative interpretation of history as a competition of parasites, both biological and human; The Great Frontier questions the notion of "frontier freedom" through an examination of European expansion; the concluding essay speculates on the role of catastrophe in our lives.
William H. McNeill (1917–2016) was professor emeritus of history at the University of Chicago. His books include The Pursuit of Truth. J. R. McNeill is professor of history at Georgetown University. He is the author of Something New Under the Sun.
"A remarkable tour de force . . . . An elegant, intelligent and scholarly essay."--J. H. Hexter, New York Times Book Review
"A brilliant new interpretation of world history."--David Graber, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"There is virtually no one in the profession who can match McNeill as a synthesizer--or, for that matter, as an interdisciplinary historian. . . . There is more insight in this volume than in others of double or triple the length."--David Courtwright, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"How refreshing in this era of foreboding to read an informed analysis of human prospects ending on a positive note that we are the creators rather than the creatures of our destiny."--L.S. Stavrianos, Journal of World History
Table of Contents:
I The Great Frontier: Freedom and Hierarchy in Modern Times
Lecture I: To 1750 5
Lecture II: From 1750 33
II The Human Condition: An Ecological and Historical View
Microparasitism, Macroparasitism, and the Urban Transmutation 69
Microparasitism, Macroparasitism, and the commercial transmutation 100
III Control and Catastrophe in Human Affairs 133
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by William Hardy McNeill: