The Structure of Big History:
From the Big Bang until Today
(1996, Amsterdam University Press)

This book provides a novel structure for all of history, with special attention to the question of how human history fits into this larger scheme. The proposed structure helps to better understand how everything in the Universe has become the way it is now, as well as how all these different aspects are related.
This structure, based on regimes as processes ranging from the subatomic level to the universe as a whole, came as a result of realizing in 1994 that by structuring our (then) novel University of Amsterdam big history course, we were also structuring big history itself. This theoretical model evolved out of the regime approach used in my earlier Peru studies.
Strongly supported by the US world historian William H. McNeill, the first version of this argument was presented at the 1995 World History Association conference near Florence, Italy, where it was endorsed by its then president, the US world historian and big history pioneer John Mears.
The Structure of Big History has received considerable international interest and recognition, ranging from Argentina to Australia. It has been used in the United States (University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Santa Cruz, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Georgia State University and the University of the Pacific, Stockton); in Great Britain (University of Newcastle); and in Australia (Macquarie University, Sydney).
In 1998, the German edition Big History: Was die Geschichte im Innersten zusammenhält was published. In 1999, the extended Dutch translationGeschiedenis in het Groot: Een alomvattende visie was put into print, while in the same year, major parts of the argument were published in Russian.
Praise for The Structure of Big History:
“A slim, insightful volume linking social and natural science studies of the past” Eric Chaisson, Professor of Physics, Tufts University, Harvard Observatory, USA
“Engagingly modest but surprisingly effective” Jon Turney, New Scientist, October 4, 1997
“A wonderfully adventurous enterprise. Spier is working towards the construction of a sort of `Grand Unified Theory' of the past. I firmly believe that this is a project that should attract the support and interest of any scholar with a serious interest in historical modes of thought.” David Christian, Professor of Modern History, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
“An ambitious and deeply intelligent attempt to see how history can be integrated more effectively with other scientific disciplines.” Compass History
“Genuinely brilliant.” William H. McNeill, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Chicago, USA
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