The Staggering Amount of Progress Made in Recent History

BOOKS BOOK REVIEWS 'Millennium' is full of gratitude for the staggering advances of 1,000 years csmonitor icon Latest News Save for later Subscribe One of the most bracing aspects of 'Millennium' is the breadth of factors it covers, from food production to sanitation conditions to the Christian Church Militant to the development of firearms to radical changes in transportation of both people and products. By Steve Donoghue NOVEMBER 24, 2016 Save for later View CaptionAbout video adsView Caption Pause for a moment from your rapt attention to this review of Ian Mortimer's terrific new book Millennium and look up. Look around you. Try to see the layers of time that blanket every feature of your world. It's a gambit that Mortimer employs often throughout his study of “how civilization has changed over a thousand years,” and it's unfailingly instructive.

You're able to read this at all, in the first place, whereas for most of the previous thousand years, you probably wouldn't have been able to, unless you were a member of the clerical or landed elite. You're reading it in English, which no national publication would have used in the 11th century or for a good deal of time afterwards. The review is about a book, which scarcely anybody would have owned. Likewise the review assumes a common readership, which would have been forbidden – sometimes by fire or the rack – for more than half of the centuries under Mortimer's consideration. And if you're reading this on some kind of electronic device, we suddenly exclude all of history right up until the last twenty years.


If you're reading this anywhere in the United States, for instance, you're reading it in a building or on a street or in a park that probably didn't exist even a hundred years ago, and certainly not a thousand. Perhaps you're reading it easily because you have eye glasses, which you of course wouldn't have had in the 12th century.

You're alive, as an adult, which until fairly recently would have been almost a statistical anomaly, rather than a given.


Folksonomies: humanism progress human history technological progress

/technology and computing/consumer electronics/home video and dvd (0.426167)
/art and entertainment/books and literature (0.388958)
/hobbies and interests/reading (0.377546)

icon Latest News (0.911130 (negative:-0.550950)), Recent History BOOKS (0.907589 (positive:0.932536)), Christian Church Militant (0.884722 (neutral:0.000000)), video adsView Caption (0.872951 (neutral:0.000000)), staggering advances (0.763355 (positive:0.737038)), Ian Mortimer (0.730585 (positive:0.910350)), bracing aspects (0.678769 (positive:0.814551)), rapt attention (0.674421 (positive:0.910350)), sanitation conditions (0.666458 (neutral:0.000000)), radical changes (0.657858 (neutral:0.000000)), food production (0.657238 (neutral:0.000000)), common readership (0.647945 (negative:-0.362248)), national publication (0.635708 (positive:0.467879)), United States (0.635192 (neutral:0.000000)), 11th century (0.633381 (positive:0.467879)), eye glasses (0.632935 (positive:0.569465)), good deal (0.631908 (positive:0.467879)), 12th century (0.629282 (neutral:0.000000)), electronic device (0.625208 (positive:0.345241)), review (0.523967 (positive:0.548102)), Millennium (0.508542 (positive:0.910350)), thousand (0.475194 (negative:-0.392121)), Donoghue (0.471140 (neutral:0.000000)), gratitude (0.465879 (positive:0.737038)), breadth (0.460952 (positive:0.642214)), Pause (0.460042 (positive:0.910350)), gambit (0.455343 (neutral:0.000000)), anybody (0.452809 (neutral:0.000000)), instance (0.450953 (neutral:0.000000)), clerical (0.450649 (neutral:0.000000))

Ian Mortimer:Person (0.898597 (positive:0.910350)), Steve Donoghue:Person (0.457698 (neutral:0.000000)), United States:Country (0.393624 (neutral:0.000000)), food production:FieldTerminology (0.366541 (neutral:0.000000)), electronic device:FieldTerminology (0.356067 (positive:0.345241)), Christian Church:Organization (0.353921 (neutral:0.000000)), thousand years:Quantity (0.353921 (neutral:0.000000)), hundred years:Quantity (0.353921 (neutral:0.000000)), twenty years:Quantity (0.353921 (neutral:0.000000)), 1,000 years:Quantity (0.353921 (neutral:0.000000))

Centuries (0.936498): dbpedia
Century (0.873125): dbpedia | freebase
Review (0.710635): dbpedia | freebase
Steve Donoghue (0.691741): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Landed property (0.690929): dbpedia | freebase
Rack (0.688937): dbpedia | freebase
Glasses (0.671333): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Book review (0.641977): dbpedia | freebase
Landed gentry (0.641009): dbpedia | freebase
12th century (0.633854): dbpedia | freebase | yago
2nd millennium (0.630583): dbpedia | freebase
British flat racing Champion Jockey (0.629119): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Attention (0.625568): website | dbpedia | freebase
11th century (0.624540): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 'Millennium' is full of gratitude for the staggering advances of 1,000 years
Electronic/World Wide Web>Internet Article:  Donoghue, Steve (NOVEMBER 24, 2016), 'Millennium' is full of gratitude for the staggering advances of 1,000 years, Retrieved on 2016-12-28
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: book reviews