History at the End of the World?

History at the End of the World?
History at the End of the World?

I am very excited to announce the forthcoming publication of what promises to be one of the signature books on history and human survival. My own contribution to this book is not on my usual topic of research, but on the example of the Parsis, Zoroastrian Indians of Persian descent and their diaspora. It is entitled, ‘A Zoroastrian Dilemma? Parsi Responses to Global Catastrophe’ and is in the final part of the book (Part VI: Surviving Catastrophe: Creating Conditions for Renewal) where I discuss how Parsis have reconciled life and religion throughout their history to survive a series of crises that have challenged this tiny community whose impact on the world has nevertheless been greater than most realise. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the editors, Mark Levene (University of Southampton), Rob Johnson (University of Oxford) and Penny Roberts (University of Warwick) for their brilliant shepherding of this project.

The book will be published in e-book and paperback form on 15 April, History at the End of the World? History, Climate Change and the Possibility of Closure edited by Mark Levene, Rob Johnson and Penny Roberts and is available from the following sources:

History at the End of the World? Out 15 April 2010:

Paperback via Troubador

E-book direct from Humanities Ebooks

Download the flyer for History at the End of the World

The collection has been produced under the auspices of Rescue!History , a network of historian activists with broadminded and sometimes radical approaches to thinking, life and the world. Rescue!History is the sister network to Crisis Forum. I will be reviewing the book on Past Thinking in due course.

About the book History at the End of the World?

This first Rescue!History collection has been consciously put together for a broad, educated audience, though especially angled at students who want to get to grips with why humanity has arrived at its present all-encompassing crisis. By the same token the collection poses whether recent as well as deeper historical experience may offers signposts to our future survival and well-being against the grain of a relentless ‘business as usual’ drive towards the abyss.


History at the End of the World?

Introduction: A Chronicle of a Death Foretold?
Mark Levene

Part 1: Deep History

1. Responding to Climate Change: Lessons from our Prehistoric Ancestors
Kate Prendergast

Part II: Harbingers of the End

2. We’ll Cope, Mankind always has: The Fall of Rome and the Cost of Crisis
Bryan Ward-Perkins
3. People, Climate and Landscape in Medieval Iceland
Chris Callow
4. The Wrath of God: Explanations of Crisis and Natural Disaster in pre-modern Europe
Elaine Fulton and Penny Roberts

Part III: The Debate about the Enlightenment and Modernity

5. The Urgent Need for an Academic Revolution
Nicholas Maxwell
6. Dangerous Limits: Climate Change and Modernity
Chris Shaw

Part IV: Coming to Terms with a Recent Historical Legacy

7. Five Lessons for the Climate Crisis: What the History of Resource Scarcity in the United States and Japan can teach us
Roman Krznaric
8. ‘We are All Slave Owners Now: Fossil Fuels, Energy Consumption and the Legacy of Slave Abolition
Jean-Francois Mouhot

Part V: Countdown to Self-Annihilation

9. Climate Change, Resources and Future War: The Case of Central Asia
Rob Johnson
10. On the Edge of History, The Nuclear Dimension
Dave Webb

Part VI: Surviving Catastrophe: Creating Conditions for Renewal

11. On Reading History as a Mental Health Issue
Jonathan Coope
12. A Zoroastrian Dilemma? Parsi Responses to Global Catastrophe
Tehmina Goskar
13. How Novels can contribute to our Understanding of Climate Change
Peter Middleton
14. Towards Transition
Robert Biel

Download sample pages (PDF) from History at the End of the World?