A Thousand years of nonlinear history

by Manuel De Landa

Paper Book, 2000



Call number



New York : Swerve Editions, 2000


The author presents a radical synthesis of historical development over the last 1000 years, tracing the concrete movements and interplays of matter and energy through human populations in the last millennium.

User reviews

LibraryThing member jbushnell
Utterly fascinating. Events of the last millennium—including the rise of cities and capitalist "antimarkets," the circulation of organisms and plagues, and the development of languages and Foucaultian institutions—all viewed through the lens of complexity science. Wide-ranging; consistently
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LibraryThing member thcson
This is an awful book. The author puts up a smokescreen of ambiguous language and fails to make even a single coherent point. I strongly dislike books that willfully avoid clear arguments like this one does.
LibraryThing member bookomaniac
This was not a piece of cake. De Landa looks at the history of the last millennium in a highly philosophical, structuralistic kind of way, with the use of a very elaborate terminological toolkit. I appreciated his plea to look at history in a nonlinear way, without a manifest destiny, as the result
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of intensively interactive processes on multiple levels. And I particularly appreciated his stress on cities as laboratories where historical processes are accelerated (Braudel). But the very theoretical approach and the constant use of structuralist terminology (in line with Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari) was not my cup of tea; on top of that it was my impression that De Landa’s view just is a sophisticated version of materialism.
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LibraryThing member waitingtoderail
A really, really difficult read for me. My rating could be higher if I had been able to have the mental stamina for this, but I read it during the COVID-19 pandemic and was just a bit too much for me. He contrasts human history to the physical history of the planet, and the main gist is that things
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aren't preordained or linear; history is a "tree with many branches," and lots of variables go into which branches will strengthen and which will wither. If you're going to read this, be prepared to put in the time. The font changes throughout are rather odd and in many places just too small, which made comprehension even more difficult for me. As for reading for pleasure, this didn't do the trick for me, I could use a Cliffs Notes version to pierce through the fog.
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Original publication date


Physical description

333 p.; 23 cm


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