Paperback 5" - 7 3/4"
2019, 424 pages
Telling a different story about our place in the world
Rooms is a story of our transition from mobility to sedentary lifestyles and the cultural, political, and economic changes we’ve experienced. From the time of hunter-gatherers to slum dwellers in Manila we have a long history that can be understood in terms of freedom of movement. From creativity to commerce, our lives changed dramatically when we stopped moving. The sedentary population ballooned, leaving billions housed in slums and millions homeless.
Mobility runs deep in our evolutionary history. From our beginnings as a species our small bands were on the move. About 10,000 years ago Agriculture hobbled us. Over millennia, we gradually relinquished our traditional mobility by living in permanent rooms. For millennia our world has been constructed from rooms and each generation tells a story of their experience in the never-ending, unsuccessful struggle to escape. Rooms describe the processes that shaped and modified the necessity of personal movement to survive. Staying in a fixed place came with a number of costs. In psychological, political and social ways we have found ourselves paying a high rate interest imposed by a culture of room. This book is an exploration of the forces, processes, and methods in a newly constructed environment for a domesticated species of homo sapiens.
Available in eBook and print formats:
Christopher G. Moore: Review of ROOMS
“ROOMS is no long airplane flight or beach fluff read. It is a treatise, a thinking person’s book… I am one of ROOM’s defined threatened “analogue elites who fear the complexity of digital technology will exclude them… Moore gives the reader of books like me a look at what I will be digitally dragged into in 5-10 years if I am not to become as out of date as he describes horses as a means for Homo sapiens to move forward, near the front of the masses.”
—Dr.Gregory W. Frazier
“After completing Christopher G. Moore’s ROOMS: On Human Domestication and Submission, I can, with a full-throated primal howl, recommend this read to everyone. Whether with casual curiosity or steeped in serious academia ROOMS is a remarkable resource to add to your library.”
“Rooms is an engaging and impressive meditation on the entanglement between humans and our material cultures, from deep prehistory until the present day. It is, essentially, an archaeology of lived-in spaces, sweeping in scope, which explores the ways in which we reshape the contours of our natural environments, and the ways in which those spaces in turn shape us. The narrator elegantly avoids deterministic pitfalls, and explores the ways in which enclosed spaces provide a kind of stage for the emergence of complexity, the development of power structures, and the negotiation of symbolic meaning and social relationships. Above all, it offers important context for imagining futures in which interaction, communication and mobility are increasingly unconstrained by materiality. A fascinating read.”
—Professor Damian Evans, Ph.D.,a École française d'Extrême-Orient Research Fellow, and Principal Investigator of the CALI program at the EFEO Centre at Siem Reap-Angkor
“Rooms is dauntingly expansive and requires pauses in the reading for rumination, but it is captivating all the same in its chronicling of why and when and how we as a species moved from wall-less rural spaces to encumbered urban cocoons – and what that shift has done to us.... It is a voyage through time, backward as much as forward in the interest of comparisons, but we have a knowledgeable guide who lets us relax and enjoy the ride.”
—Paul Dorsey, The Nation (Thailand)