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Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

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'Pacey and potentially revolutionary' Sunday Times

'Iconoclastic and irreverent ... an exhilarating read' The Guardian

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 of hunter-gatherers, what were they doing all that time? If agriculture, and cities, did not mean a plunge into hierarchy and domination, then what kinds of social and economic organization did they lead to? The answers are often unexpected, and suggest that the course of history may be less set in stone, and more full of playful possibilities than we tend to assume.

The Dawn of Everything fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society. This is a monumental book of formidable intellectual range, animated by curiosity, moral vision and faith in the power of direct action.

'This is not a book. This is an intellectual feast' Nassim Nicholas Taleb

'The most profound and exciting book I've read in thirty years' Robin D. G. Kelley

Authors: Wengrow David, Graeber David
Publisher: PENGUIN
Pages: 720
ISBN: 9780141991061
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2022

David Wengrow is Professor of Comparative Archaeology at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. He also held positions at Christ Church, University of Oxford, the Warburg Institute, and the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He has conducted fieldwork in Africa and the Middle East, most recently in Iraqi Kurdistan, and writes widely on the early cultures and societies of those regions, including their role in shaping modern political identities.

David Graeber is a Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics. His many books include The Utopia of Rules, The Democracy Project and the bestselling Debt: The First 5,000 Years. A frequent guest on the BBC, he writes for, among others, the Guardian, Strike!, the Baffler and New Left Review. He lives in London.

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