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, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the eighteenth century as a conservative reaction to powerful critiques of European society posed by Indigenous observers and intellectuals. Revisiting this encounter has startling implications for how we make sense of human history today, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery, and civilization itself.
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub Date: 11/2021