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Time Wars: The Primary Conflict in Human History (A Touchstone book) Reprint Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0671671587
ISBN-10: 0671671588
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Product Details

  • Series: A Touchstone book
  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone Books; Reprint edition (January 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671671588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671671587
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

One of the most popular social thinkers of our time, Jeremy Rifkin is the bestselling author of The European Dream, The Hydrogen Economy, The Age of Access, The Biotech Century, and The End of Work. A fellow at the Wharton School's Executive Education Program and an adviser to several European Union heads of state, he is the president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Bethesda, Maryland.

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm not quite sure what I think of Jeremy Rifkin's Time Wars except that I know it makes me think. I just don't know if he's right, but it doesn't really matter.
What Rifkin tells us is that there is a war developing or even already going on, between the advocates of speed and efficiency--almost speed for the sake of speed--and those who prefer, as he puts it, a "more empathetic union with the rhythm of nature." In that latter category he puts many members of the environmental , holistic health, biological agriculture, animal-rights, economic democracy and other movements, who may just think that they're a little bit lefty, not engaged in a struggle for our souls.
Rifkin outlines a history of time, as it were, or more specifically, a history of how people have viewed time. He analyzes different cultures' views of time, which are considerably different, the sense that humans can have power over time, which has not been the belief of all cultures in the past, and the rise to domination of Western views of time (along with pretty much everything else, at least right now).
If you are white and ever been immersed in black or other minority culture, you may hear references to "CP time" or "Indian time". This has often said as a joke but refers to the very different sense of the importance of time and punctuality. It's a smart observation, really, that points out that not everyone is driven by the need to meet a deadline, arrive precisely when expected, operate in a way that those of us in the West feel is the right way. And it's at the heart of what Rifkin is saying about our attempts to capture and define time.
Though the book is written in a very clear style, this is not a book to be read while watching TV or while otherwise distracted. There are Big Thoughts here about who we are as a society and how humans will view their responsibilities, the concept of progress, the Information Age and more, now and in the future.
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Format: Paperback
Rifkin explains why people feel alienated from nature based on changing perceptions of time over the course of human history. From nature time, to clock time, and now to computer time. Relevant to how people respond (at work, for example) to highly-planned and highly-scheduled work. Good historical explanation of how we got to where we are today, and what the consequences are. Not so good in the last chapter about how to go about fixing it. Predictions about artificial intelligence in computers taking over didn't really come true. But still interesting reading.

For a different, perhaps complementary, view, read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.
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Format: Paperback
An excellent look at how modern society became so obsessed with clocks, schedules, and efficiency, and how they have interfered with the natural rhythms of human life as they existed for hundreds of thousands of years. Written in the 1980s, Rifkin foresaw how much more stressful and hectic the future would become as we surrendered to the computer and the machine.
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