Origins: How Earth's History Shaped Human History

Origins: How Earth's History Shaped Human History

by Lewis Dartnell

Hardcover

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Overview

A New York Times-bestselling author explains how the physical world shaped the history of our species


When we talk about human history, we often focus on great leaders, population forces, and decisive wars. But how has the earth itself determined our destiny? Our planet wobbles, driving changes in climate that forced the transition from nomadism to farming. Mountainous terrain led to the development of democracy in Greece. Atmospheric circulation patterns later on shaped the progression of global exploration, colonization, and trade. Even today, voting behavior in the south-east United States ultimately follows the underlying pattern of 75 million-year-old sediments from an ancient sea. Everywhere is the deep imprint of the planetary on the human.


From the cultivation of the first crops to the founding of modern states, Origins reveals the breathtaking impact of the earth beneath our feet on the shape of our human civilizations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541617902
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 145,612
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Lewis Dartnell is a Professor of Science Communication at the University of Westminster. Before that, he completed his biology degree at the University of Oxford and his PhD at UCL, and then worked as the UK Space Agency research fellow at the University of Leicester, studying astrobiology and searching for signs of life on Mars. He has won several awards for his science writing and contributes to the Guardian, The Times, and New Scientist. He is also the author of three books. He lives in London, UK.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 The Making of Us 7

2 Continental Drifters 31

3 Our Biological Bounty 60

4 The Geography of the Seas 94

5 What We Build With 127

6 Our Metallic World 156

7 Silk Roads and Steppe Peoples 183

8 The Global Wind Machine and the Age of Discovery 217

9 Energy 255

Coda 284

Notes 289

Bibliography 299

Acknowledgements 324

Figure Credits 325

Index 328

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