cover image Brief Hist of Tomorrow

Brief Hist of Tomorrow

Jonathan Margolis. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, $24.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-1-58234-108-8

In a voice pitched somewhere between conversational, conspiratorial and professorial, Margolis takes on ""the arrogance of the present""Deach generation's view that it is on the cusp of greatness and that the things which are important now will always beDbut simultaneously argues that ours is indeed a remarkable time. The author of Uri Geller: Magician or Mystic and columnist for the Financial Times shows just how remarkably wrong or astonishingly right predictions can be. The fascinatingly odd visions covered in chapters on the mind, leisure, the human body and more will make readers wonder if current commonly accepted predictionsDsuch as global warming are all that much less bizarre. Readers will be so effectively drawn in that they will be able to see the subtle ways that the future is already upon us (smart-lawn mowers, cell phones) and ways in which we have fallen behind our own imaginations (space travel, farming the sea). This is a clever look at how the world could have been, how it might be and how it won't be. (Nov.) Forecast: If this survey of the decidedly fickle art of predicting the future is marketed for general consumption, it may have a decent following. It holds appeal for historians, science fiction fans, and anyone who thinks they know what the future will bring. The arrival of Y2K, which had been a focal point for many seers, from Arthur C. Clarke to Nostradamus, has tuned many people in to the future and the past simultaneously.