Using stunning graphic representations and an easy-to-read, present tense format, The Biggest Picture shows pivotal moments from our planet’s evolution in a new light. Wendy Curtis sought the advice of experts from a wide variety of fields–including astronomy, geology, and anthropology–and compiled this knowledge into a visual record with concisely written supporting text; creating a rich, all-encompassing tapestry of our planetary history.
The journey begins with the Big Bang and continues in one unbroken sweep forward through time, leaving readers with a clear and concise picture of our transit through history. Curtis gives her audience a thorough understanding of how the cosmic creation of the elements affected the evolution of stars and solar systems, how the mechanics of the Earth-Moon system nurtured the rise of life, and how life subsequently influenced geologic processes. As the reader approaches the final chapters, they arrive where we are today: Contemporary astrophysicists are grappling to explain the origin of the cosmos; biologists are attempting to untangle the web of evolution; and social and environmental scientists are struggling with the problems of crime, terror, war, economic downturns and disruptions, climate change, and the preservation of the biosphere.
The Biggest Picture, like other books in the new genre of Big History, restricts itself to a single volume that includes only the most important events. While this format does not allow for the extent of detail given in books that resign themselves to only a portion of any one subject, it does allow major trends and turning points to be revealed and the overall framework of history to be discerned. Visual cues assist the reader in remembering specific events and in finding topics without using the index.
By adhering to its simple structure where each page moves one step further through time, seemingly unrelated events are juxtaposed on the same page in insightful and sometimes amusing ways: Life emerges on Earth as a large moon with active lava flows looms above; a hot air balloon takes flight as the revolution erupts in France; and the pseudo science of eugenics emerges in America just as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is tested and becomes front page news.
The Biggest Picture utilizes an innovative new format that the new genre of Big History deserves, and is a great fit for any reader looking to expand their knowledge in earth science, history, and a multitude of other subjects.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The biggest picture
Awesome informative book ! I love the illustrations and I learned a lot. The format is easy to read and helped me to process the information. I highly recommend this book.
The scope of this book is pretty incredible. Beautiful artwork. It makes me want to learn more.