Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

History Unplugged – The Age of Discovery 2.0

The podcast, History Unplugged, created by Scott Rank from the History on the Web webpage, has put together a six part podcast called The Age of Discovery 2.0 with the goal of exploring how today’s new effort to colonize the solar system can learn from the first age of discovery that began when Columbus discovered the New World in 1492. From the announcement:

No era transformed Western Civilization like the Age of Discovery. Before then, Europe was an economic and military weakling that had suffered centuries of defeat from Islamic empires. Constantinople, Greece, Serbia, and the Crimea had all fallen to the Ottomans in the 15th century. Compared to its richer, more educated, and far more powerful rivals in the East, Europe was the Third World of the late medieval era. Chroniclers saw it as living in a long twilight, far removed from its golden age. It had nothing to look forward to but Judgment Day.

But with Columbus’s discovery of the New World, the West was reborn. Trade routes to Africa, India, and China opened. Ship building began at a furious pace. New wealth flowed into European capitals. At the same time, printing presses spread new ideas about science, religion, and technology. Literacy rates exploded. Above all, anyone willing to brave the dangers of traveling and settling in the New World could seek their fortune, bypassing whatever their birth status was in Europe’s rigid social hierarchy. Because of the Age of Discovery, for the first time in generations, Western Civilization had hope in the future.

Today, an Age of Discovery 2.0 is upon us. With Elon Musk promising rocket launch costs at $200/kilo (one percent of the Space Shuttle’s launch costs, with much lower costs to come), the price of sending explorers to space will soon match the cost of a ticket on the Mayflower in 1620. In a few decades, the Moon, Mars, and other planetary bodies will be as accessible to humans as the New World was in the Age of Sail.

How will the Age of Discovery 2.0 change our civilization the way the first one did five centuries ago?

To find the answer, History Unplugged is interviewing historians, scientists, and futurists who have spent decades researching this question by looking at the past to understand the future. It will explore how:

Scott asked me to be one of his guests, which also include Robert Zubrin, Glenn Reynolds, Rand Simberg. Episode #4 will focus on the history I outline in my new book, Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space. The topic fit perfectly with his series.

The series begins airing tonight, and will continue for the next two weeks.


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  • Steve Richter

    The exploration, settling, discovery of years past has involved individuals, actual people. The equivalent in outer space will be machine based. Great for scientists and engineers. But do not expect large segments of the population to have any interest. To the contrary, expect hostility. The advances in machine autonomy needed to explore and construct things on Mars are for sure applicable on Earth. Only, their use will put millions out of work.

  • Gary


    I saw this on Instapundit yesterday and was happy to see you were part of it. I look forward to listening.


    You may be right, but most every technological breakthrough in history was supposed to put lots of people out of work and, instead, has increased prosperity. If I had to bet, I’d bet these breakthroughs have the same results.

  • Icepilot

    “Robert Zubrin, Glenn Reynolds, Rand Simberg” – you’re in good company. I’ll definitely watch.

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