How we created an ultrasociety—six big questions answered

Daniel Austin Mullins

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Abstract

Professor Turchin’s Ultrasociety constructs a new theory to produce an explanatory account of human history. He explains why historical events (e.g., the fall of the Roman Empire) make sense given what we know about how and why humans cooperate and compete in groups. Ultrasociety tells us not only what occurred, but why these things happened in the first place, not the kind of historical trivia that I might use at dinner parties (‘You think your rent is sky high, let me tell you what poor families in imperial Rome’s insular had to put up with!’). For example, instead of detailing the decline and fall of the Roman Empire (as so many scholars have attempted to do), Ultrasociety takes a scientific approach to create a general theory of empires, answering questions like Why did humans create empires in the first place? and How did empires stick together? and Why do they crumble so dramatically? Not limited to a particular historical period, Ultrasociety hurdles through human history with an Olympic pace.

So, what’s the big idea? What are some of the major questions and answers provided by this book?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2016

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