Being Human

Lewis Dartnell


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Vintage Publishing
20 June 2024
ISBN: 9781529925531
368 pages

From the publisher

A unique reframing of human history as shaped by our physical abilities and limitations - by the Sunday Times-bestselling author of Origins

'Illuminating' TIM MARSHALL

A mind-expanding, revolutionary journey across time that shows how our biology has determined human history for the first time. This book will change how you see the world.

We’re a wonder of evolution, capable of incredible feats. But we’re also deeply flawed. Our bodies and minds often break, fail, and hinder us. To be human is to live with this extraordinary contradiction. So, to understand the course humanity has taken – from prehistoric times through the age of empire and into the modern era – we must understand who, and what, we are.

Being Human is history made flesh. From the epidemic that brought Europe’s peasants freedom, to the health deficiency which gave rise to the world’s largest criminal organisation, to the cognitive biases that led to military catastrophes in Crimea and Iraq, we see how our unique nature shaped our relationships, economies and societies – and, importantly, how it continues to impact human progress today.

'This book is quite literally wonderful' ED CONWAY
'A wild ride' TIM HARFORD
'A gripping, red-blooded narrative from a master storyteller' JO MARCHANT