cover image A Brief History of Everything: 20th Anniversary Edition

A Brief History of Everything: 20th Anniversary Edition

Ken Wilber. Shambhala, $19.95 (376p) ISBN 978-1-61180-452-2

The word “brief” may be part of the title, but Wilber’s interdisciplinary history of the Kosmos requires a great deal of quiet study, and, often, a teaching assistant on standby. In this 20th-anniversary edition of the bestselling work, Wilber takes readers on a journey from the Big Bang to the future, impressively synthesizing multiple fields of study. He organizes his material to fit its evolutionary nature, feeding off of what came before in order to provide a transformational “unified theory” of history. Readers will gain new perspective on what they know, or think they know, about every possible discipline. Wilber occasionally asserts something without providing proof. His use of a Q-and-A format helps the reader maintain focus. But those looking for a book analogous to the Big History TV series will not find such a neat encapsulation of ideas and explanations here. Wilber’s holistic approach is fascinating, but it makes for difficult reading at times. This book is best read quickly to maintain the holistic structure but is too much to digest in one sitting. (May)