The Dawn of Everything

A New History of Humanity

Paperback, 692 pages

English language

Published April 3, 2023 by Picador.

ISBN:
978-1-250-85880-1
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OCLC Number:
1289231491

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4 stars (2 reviews)

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 …

6 editions

Another slog to get through.

4 stars

This book suffers from two things in terms of its writing and structure. First, there's Graeber's desire to compress as much information into one space as humanly possible, even to the detriment of his own argument and the discussion he wants to push people to have. The second is that it seems, if I'm reading into both authors' writing styles correctly, Wengrow's desire to flesh out those concepts with more detail to further support them. (I say that because I've checked a few of his articles, and he has a tendency to develop even more focused detail than Graeber.)

I could be wrong about who was doing what, but regardless? The end result is a book that is a slog to get through and frequently leaves me forgetting half of what I've read, going back to skim it and remind myself about what they were discussing, and then trying to …

avatar for ReimarHeider

rated it

4 stars

Subjects

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • History
  • Philosophy

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