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Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century

John Higgs

8 Reviews

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20th century, Prose: non-fiction, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Social & cultural history

An alternative exploration of history's most challenging century, from the author of THE KLF, 'a thing of endlessly fascinating, utterly demented genius' GUARDIAN

'An illuminating work of massive insight' Alan Moore 'A sensational book. Heartily recommended' Rufus Hound

It is the century about which we know too much, yet understand too little. With disorientating ideas such as relativity, cubism, the id, existentialism, chaos mathematics and postmodernism to contend with, the twentieth century, John Higgs argues, cannot fit easily into a traditional historical narrative. Time, then, for a new perspective.

Higgs takes us on a refreshingly eclectic journey through the knotty history of the strangest of centuries. In the company of radical artists, scientists, geniuses and eccentrics, he shows us how the elegant, clockwork universe of the Victorians became increasingly woozy and uncertain; and how in the twentieth century we discovered that our world is not just stranger than we imagine, but 'stranger than we can imagine'.

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Praise for Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century

  • A breathtakingly lucid and coherent map of the tectonic shifts which drastically reshaped the human psyche, and the human world, within a hundred thrilling, terrifying years ... An illuminating work of massive insight, in STRANGER THAN WE CAN IMAGINE John Higgs informs us of exactly where we've been and, by extension, where we are. I cannot recommend this magnificent work too highly

  • Hugely entertaining and thought-provoking

  • '. . . a brilliantly stimulating tale.' - Financial Times

  • '. . . a challenging book that stimulates the reader to think radically.' - Daily Mail

  • 'In Stranger Than We Can Imagine, [Higgs] broadens his intellectual reach to encompass modernism, situationism, chaos theory, indeterminacy and almost every other byway of that epoch. Higgs's plate-spinning act is a fine example of learning worn lightly.' - New Scientist

  • A beautiful, erudite, funny and enlightening tour of the widening boundaries of uncertainty revealed in the twentieth century, and who doesn't need a book that explains quantum behaviour with a boxing bout between Putin and a kangaroo?

  • 'John Higgs takes a journey through some of the 'curious backwaters' of the last century in the excellent, and consistently intriguing STRANGER THAN WE CAN IMAGINE.' - CHOICE magazine

  • 'To paraphrase Colonel Kurtz, reading John Higgs is like being shot with a diamond. Suddenly everything becomes terrifyingly clear' - Mojo

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John Higgs

John Higgs is the author I HAVE AMERICA SURROUNDED, THE KLF, STRANGER THAN WE CAN IMAGINE, WATLING STREET, THE FUTURE STARTS HERE, WILLIAM BLAKE NOW and WILLIAM BLAKE VS THE WORLD. He lives in Brighton with his wife and their two children.

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