Stranger Than We Can Imagine: An Alternative History Of The 20th Century by John HiggsStranger Than We Can Imagine: An Alternative History Of The 20th Century by John Higgs

Stranger Than We Can Imagine: An Alternative History Of The 20th Century

byJohn Higgs

Hardcover | November 15, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$5.00 online 
$34.00 list price save 85%
Earn 25 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


The extraordinary story of the 20th century, as told from the furthest fringes of science, art and culture. For readers of Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything.

     Before 1900, history was an account of great discoveries that actually made sense. People understand innovations like the steam engine, agriculture, or electricity. The twentieth century, by contrast, gave us quantum entanglement, cubism, relativity, psychedelics, postmodernism, chaos maths, and the Somme.
     This is the story of that confusing century as told through the ideas produced at the furthest fringes of our sciences, arts, and culture. Its cast includes well-known geniuses such as Albert Einstein, Francis Crick, and Pablo Picasso, lesser known geniuses like Edward Lorenz, Sergey Korolyov, or Shigeru Miyamoto, and infamous but influential ne'er-do-wells like Timothy Leary, Aleister Crowley and Keith Richards. In this company we take a tour through ideas as strange as general relativity, DNA, the subconscious, Gaia theory, and Dada.
     In this brilliantly written and original book, John Higgs explores, with great clarity and wit, the extremes of twentieth century thought, and in doing so shows how a world of empires became a world of individuals. You will never see the twentieth century in the same way again.
JOHN HIGGS is the author of I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary and The Brandy of the Damned. He created the long-running BBC Radio quiz show X Marks the Spot and has directed more than 100 episodes of animated pre-school British TV. He was raised in North Wales and now lives in Brighton with his partner and their two ...
Title:Stranger Than We Can Imagine: An Alternative History Of The 20th CenturyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.41 × 6.38 × 1.18 inPublished:November 15, 2017Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:077103847X

ISBN - 13:9780771038471

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cool! Bought this because it was on sale and as a history buff, I was intrigued from start to finish!
Date published: 2018-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An enthralling, mind-bending look at the twentieth century. A history blurbed by graphic novelist Alan Moore. John Higgs makes sense of a century that – from relativity, to the id, to LSD, to post-modernism – didn’t really make sense. You won’t find the depression, the wars, or Vietnam in here. Instead, you’ll read about the great ideas that shaped the century and threw down all the old certainties that had held the world together. Margaret Thatcher’s quoted as an environmentalist (but so was Mulroney), while Richard Dawkins and Pope Benedict XVI agree with each other. For history lovers, it’s a threesome between Tony Judt, Howard Zinn, and Jared Diamond written by Bill Bryson in THE best history book of 2015. Or, it's simply The Big Bang Theory of history.
Date published: 2015-06-29

Editorial Reviews

“An illuminating work of massive insight…. Stranger Than We Can Imagine informs us exactly where we’ve been and, by extension, where we are. I cannot recommend this magnificent work too highly.”—Alan Moore, author of V for Vendetta   “A beautiful, erudite, funny and enlightening tour of the widening boundaries of uncertainty revealed in the twentieth century.” —Robin Ince   “Hugely entertaining and thought-provoking.” —Scott Pack   “To paraphrase Colonel Kurtz, reading John Higgs is like being shot with a diamond. Suddenly everything becomes terrifyingly clear.” —Mojo   “In Stranger Than We Can Imagine, John Higgs broadens his intellectual reach to encompass modernism, situationism, chaos theory, indeterminacy and almost every other byway of that epoch…. A fine example of learning worn lightly.” —New Scientist