There’s nothing much surprising in Bigger than History, and in some ways it feels rather forced. I wish that knowledge didn’t have to be justified as useful for some current problem in order to receive funding and attention, and sometimes it feels like a bit of a stretch… but at the same time, it is entirely true that archaeology can shed light on the human history of reacting to changes in climate and how we’ve seen gender through history, etc — and it can be a powerful corrective to history as written by the winners. The issues mentioned are deeply important and relevant, like the discussion of the use of history to prop up misplaced nationalist pride.
It’s not a long book, so it doesn’t go into a lot of depth, but it does give a high-level view of what archaeology can tell us about those chosen topics. There are black-and-white images in most of the book, and a section of colour plates, which help to illustrate things.
Overall, glad I picked it up, but maybe I should’ve suggested it to the library instead of buying it. Not one I’ll be keeping; it’s just too slight.