The dawn of everything

A new history of humanity

The dawn of everything (2022, Allen Lane)

Hardback, 704 pages

English language

Published Jan. 31, 2022 by Allen Lane.

ISBN:
9780241402429

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A breathtakingly ambitious retelling of the earliest human societies offers a new understanding of world history

For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike - either free and equal, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the eighteenth century as a reaction to indigenous critiques of European society, and why they are wrong. In doing so, they overturn our view of human history, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery and civilization itself.

Drawing on path-breaking research in archaeology and anthropology, the authors show how history becomes a far more interesting place once we begin to see what's really there. If humans did not spend 95 per cent of their evolutionary past in tiny bands …

Subjects

  • Civilization, history