The Shortest History of Our Universe

Regular price $16.95

A brief history of breathtaking ambition, capturing the story of life, the universe, and everything in between. The Shortest History books deliver thousands of years of history in one riveting, fast-paced read.

In this thrilling, fast-paced history, David Baker captures the longest-possible timespan—from the Big Bang, 13.8 billion years ago, to the present day—in an astonishingly concise retelling. Along the way, Baker grapples with the improbable sequence of events that—over the span of billions of years—created our universe as we know it. His highlight-reel timeline includes the “rise of complexity” in the cosmos and the creation of the first atoms; the origin of all galaxies, stars, and our solar system; and the emergence and evolution of life on Earth, from tiny single-celled organisms to the development of human beings.

With laser focus on the key concepts, and weaving together insights across the sciences, from chemistry, physics, and biology, to archaeology and anthropology, Baker answers the fundamental questions: How did time begin? Why does matter exist? What made life on Earth the way it is? And then he takes us one step further, making the case that we live in a moment unlike any other in our world’s history. Never before has life on Earth been forced to so rapidly adjust to a changing climate, nor has one species ever been responsible for such sudden change. Baker believes his long view of history offers the clearest-possible picture of what may come next—and the role we can still play in our planet’s fate.