Robert Clark delves into 100 millennia of human history to create a unified and consistent explanation for humankind's inner need to spread itself across the globe. He examines key events from different eras, such as the voyages of the Chinese treasure fleet, the shaping of the Aztec's trade system in MesoAmerica, the role of steam-powered transport in the supply of an English city, the rise of the gas-powered engine, and the digitization of information in the computer age, melding them together to form a framework for understanding the process of globalization.Drawing on a variety of academic disciplines including the physical sciences, biology, anthropology, geography, economics, political science, sociology, and demography, Clark reveals the spread of humans and their cultures to be part of an ongoing struggle to supply the energy needs of an increasingly large and complex society. ?Entropy? and ?thermodynamics,? terms often ignored or misunderstood by social science students, clearly frame a fascinating vision of humans' inherent tendency toward a globalized world.Although human expansion has drawn increasing attention in the last several decades, as this tumultuous century has progressed, Clark shows that the process of globalization is not a recent concept. From the very roots of the species, humankind has been driven by a range of internal and external factors to expand in order to survive the increasing complexity of human civilization.
Table of Contents
Foreword -- Introduction: Why Globalization? -- Out of Africa -- The Neolithic Revolution -- Ancient Cities and Trade Routes -- The Age of Discovery -- The Partnership of Steam and Coal -- Petroleum and the Internal Combustion Engine -- Part One: Prelude to the Information Age -- Part Two: The Information Age -- Part Three: Cities and Global Systems in the Information Age