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A Short History of the Future

W. Warren Wagar’s A Short History of the Future is a memoir of postmodern times, cast as a history. This powerful and visionary book is narrated by a far-future historian, Peter Jensen, who leaves this account of the world from the 1990s to the opening of the twenty-third century as a gift to his granddaughter. A combination of fiction and scholarship, this third edition of Wagar’s speculative history of the future alternates between descriptions of world events and intimate glimpses of his fictive historian’s family into the first centuries of the new millennium.

"Thanks to Wagar’s magisterial command of futurist information and theory, his extrapolated near-term future is an incisive, dynamic vision of where we may indeed be heading."—H. Bruce Franklin, Washington Post

"A comprehensive, massively detailed script of a possible near future. . . . Intriguing."—San Francisco Chronicle

"A Short History of the Future reads with ease, raises provocative possibilities and presents challenging occasions for thought and argument."—Chicago Tribune

"A breathtaking future history in the manner of Wells and Stapledon, unnerving in its mixture of fact, fiction, and personal perspectives."—George Zebrowski, New York Review of Science Fiction

340 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1989, 1992, 1999


Sociology: General Sociology

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Third Edition
Foreword to the Second Edition
Foreword by W. Warren Wagar
A Note to the Reader
Preface and Dedication
Book the First: Earth, Inc.
1. The Last Age of Capital
2. Ruling Circles
3. Fouling the Nest
4. The Molecular Society
5. The Catastrophe of 2044
Book the Second: Red Earth
6. The Coming of the Commonwealth
7. The Great Housecleaning
8. We, the People
9. Vested Interests
Book the Third: The House of Earth
10. The Small Revolution
11. The Autonomous Society
12. Transhumanity
Envoi to Ingrid
A Last Note to the Reader
Afterword by Immanuel Wallerstein
Genealogy of the Jensens and Brandts
Studies of the Future: Suggested Reading
Index of Persons
Index of Subjects

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