“Illuminating and engrossing...a fresh, lively, and ultimately wrenching display of a world transforming itself irrevocably.”

– Jane Egan, The Observer

“An exhilaratingly panoramic, inescapably poignant snapshot of a world poised in a Janus moment, where technology is both bane and savior of the past and present.”

– Newsday (New York)

“A smart and engaging work...[by] a clean, clear writer... His ideas are anchored in the tangible can take your pick of the strong essays in The Future of the Past.”

– The New York Times

“This book is worth reading for its chapter on the Sphinx alone.”

– Harper's Magazine

“Fascinating...deftly written, keenly observed.”

– The New York Times

The Future of the Past

An engrossing look at the cultural consequences of technological change and globalization

A fascinating tour of the past as it exists today, and of the dangers that threaten it, through incisive portraits of our attempts to maintain it: the high-tech struggles to save the Great Sphinx and the Ganges; the efforts to preserve Latin within the Vatican; the digital glut inside the National Archives, which may have caused more information to be lost than ever before; and an oral culture threatened by a “new” technology: writing itself. Stille explores not simply the past, but our ideas about the past—and how they will have to change if our past is to have a future.

Listen to audio intervews

Listen to a curated selection of audio interviews from people who were involved with the infamous Sullivanians cult from New York in the 1970s. Gain unique firsthand insights and a deeper understanding of what life was like within the cult.

Listen to author interviews

About Alexander

Alexander Stille is a journalist and author of six books as well as a professor of international journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.

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