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Summary

To imagine - to see that which is not there - is the startling ability that has fuelled human development and innovation through the centuries. As a species we stand alone in our remarkable capacity to refashion the world after the pictures in our minds.  

Traversing the realms of science, politics, religion, culture, philosophy and history, Felipe Fernández-Armesto reveals the thrilling and disquieting tales of our imaginative leaps - from the first Homo sapiens to the present day. 

Through groundbreaking insights in cognitive science, he explores how and why we have ideas in the first place, providing a tantalising glimpse into who we are and what we might yet accomplish. Fernández-Armesto shows that bad ideas are often more influential than good ones; that the oldest recoverable thoughts include some of the best; that ideas of Western origin often issued from exchanges with the wider world; and that the pace of innovative thinking is under threat.

©2019 Felipe Fernández-Armesto (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

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An intellectual masterclass.

A great book that casts a wide net over the history of ideas and human thought. Whilst the politics of the author are not difficult to discern at regular intervals, the analysis and objectivity of his opinions and observations are always intelligent and fair. I recommend this book highly to anyone with a genuine desire to explore all facets of our past, present and future.

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A masterpiece!

Anyone who is at all interested in human history should read or listen to this book. Much deeper and more wide ranging than Yuval Noah Harari, it is full of clearly and wittily expressed opinions to challenge the reader and perhaps nudge thought and behaviour in a new direction. I haven’t read such a consequential book since Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

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Leans heavily into Christianity

Disappointingly it has a bent heavily in favour of Christianity.

It should be neutral on any religion.

The performance isn't great either.