Time Travel: A History by James Gleick

Filed under:Philosophy — posted by Randolph on January 21, 2018 @ 2:00 pm


Time Travel: A History by James Gleick

The book’s title has two meanings. The first is obvous, time travel at other than the normal rate. The other is traveling through history discussing attitudes and knowledge about time.

The first few chapters discuss historical perspectives about time, putting them in context of the local cultures. Then it gets into fiction, early suggestions of time travel cluminating with H. G. Wells and the actual consideration of traveling through time.

With Wells’ book, there is a lot of discussion about reactions to the idea, from supportive and expansive fiction to ridiculing reactions as reviews.

It expands on this idea to talk about how time travel is used to tell stories. This includes backstories and telling a story from two differnt time periods concurrently, as opposed to the current idea of time travel.

Finally, there is some discussion about the arrow of time, current ideas on time travel, and more journeys into fiction.

The book is interesting and worth reading, but didn’t provide a lot of new information of philosophical ideas.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace