The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

David Graeber and David Wengrow, an anthropologist and an archaelologist, join forces to dig deep and long through 30,000 years of human history, looking to explain anew who we are and how we got from there to here. Immersive, commanding and incendiary, Dawn of Everything brings to mind the works of Jared Diamond, Yuval Noah Harari and Stephen Pinker, and then “takes them on.” Get yourself a seat at the showdown, and tuck into an extraordinary work of discovery.

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution—from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality—and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation.

For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike—either free and equal innocents, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or by taming our baser instincts. In their major New York Times bestseller, The Dawn of Everything, David Graeber and David Wengrow fundamentally challenge these assumptions and recast our understanding of human history. We will never again see the past in the same way.

Drawing on pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology, Graeber and Wengrow reveal how history becomes a far more interesting place once we learn to throw off our conceptual blinders and perceive what’s really there. If humans did not spend 95 percent of their evolutionary past in tiny bands of hunter-gatherers, what were they doing during all that time? If agriculture and cities did not mean a plunge into hierarchy and domination, then what kinds of social and economic organizations did they lead to? The answers are often unexpected, and suggest that the course of human history may be less set in stone, and more open to playful, hopeful possibilities, than we tend to assume.

Destined to be a classic, The Dawn of Everything signals a paradigm shift, profoundly transforming our understanding of the human past and making space to imagine new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society. This is a monumental book of formidable intellectual and political range, animated by curiosity, moral vision, and hopefulness.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250858801
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 04/04/2023
Pages: 720
Sales rank: 13,789
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

David Graeber was a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics. He was the author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years and Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, and was a contributor to Harper’s Magazine, The Guardian, and The Baffler. He was an iconic thinker and a renowned activist, and his early efforts in Zuccotti Park made Occupy Wall Street an era-defining movement. He died on September 2, 2020.

David Wengrow is Professor of Comparative Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London and has been a visiting professor at New York University. He is the author of What Makes Civilization? and other books, and co-author with David Graeber of the New York Times bestseller The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. Wengrow has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Africa and the Middle East, and contributed op-eds to The Guardian and The New York Times.

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures vii

Foreword and Dedication ix

Acknowledgements xi

1 Farewell to Humanity's Childhood Or, why this is not a hook about the origins of inequality 1

2 Wicked Liberty The indigenous critique and the myth of progress 27

3 Unfreezing the Ice Age In and out of chains: the protean possibilities of human politics 78

4 Free People, the Origin of Cultures, and the Advent of Private Property (Not necessarily in that order) 120

5 Many Seasons Ago Why Canadian foragers kept slaves and their Californian neighbours didn't; or, the problem with 'modes of production' 164

6 Gardens of Adonis The revolution that never happened: how Neolithic peoples avoided agriculture 210

7 The Ecology of Freedom How farming first hopped, stumbled and bluffed its way around the world 249

8 Imaginary Cities Eurasia's first urbanites - in Mesopotamia, the Indus valley, Ukraine and China - and how they built cities without kings 276

9 Hiding in Plain Sight The indigenous origins of social bousing and democracy in the Americas 328

10 Why the State Has No Origin The humble beginnings of sovereignty, bureaucracy and politics 359

11 Full Circle On the historical foundations of the indigenous critique 441

12 Conclusion The dawn of everything 493

Notes 527

Bibliography 611

Index 675

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