Felipe Fernández-Armesto is an award-winning historian and the author of several bestselling books, including 1492, Ideas that Changed the World, and The Americas. He lives in Indiana and is a professor of history at the University of Notre Dame.
"Beginning with cognitive science, this global survey sweeps through leaps of thought from prehistory to today — a journey from unification to uncertainty, lit by minds such as China’s fourth-century-bc master of paradox Hui Shi and paradigm-smashing mathematician Henri Poincaré. Today, Fernández-Armesto argues, the trend is shifting as our homogenized ‘global culture’ threatens the very exchanges that spark heroic ideas." - Barbara Kiser,, Nature
“An outline of ideas runs the risk of being cursory — one damn intellectual after another — but [Armesto’s] easy flow from thinker to thinker, economics to ethics, microbes and their mutations to climate, means that there’s variety and interest all along the way. He’s usefully judgmental: he has a personal take on existentialism and the youth culture of the Sixties, for instance. What we get here is an urbane and civilised observer, broad in his sympathies, mildly distrustful of religion, very distrustful of certainties and enthusiastic about pluralism. You may not always agree with him, but he’s very good company.” - Evening Standard
“[Out of Our Minds] covers the range of human ideas, from prehistoric man’s preoccupations to artificial intelligence. But the focus is on topics like the emergence of scientific truth and democracy—themes that seem under threat today, with talk of 'fake news' and authoritarians on the march.” - The Economist