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Reviews

  • A boldly ambitious work ... entertaining and thought-provoking ... an impressively large undertaking that succeeds in making us reconsider not just the remote past but also the too-close-to-see present, as well as the common thread that is our shifting and elusive nature.

    Andrew Anthony, Observer
  • What a gift ... Graeber and Wengrow offer a history of the past 30,000 years that is not only wildly different from anything we're used to, but also far more interesting: textured, surprising, paradoxical, inspiring.

    William Deresiewicz, The Atlantic
  • Iconoclastic and irreverent ... an exhilarating read ... As we seek new, sustainable ways to organise our world, we need to understand the full range of ways our ancestors thought and lived. And we must certainly question conventional versions of our history which we have accepted, unexamined, for far too long.

    David Priestland, The Guardian
  • Pacey and potentially revolutionary ... This is more than an argument about the past, it is about the human condition in the present.

    Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times
  • A fascinating, radical, and playful entry into a seemingly exhaustively well-trodden genre, the grand evolutionary history of humanity. It seeks nothing less than to completely upend the terms on which the Standard Narrative rests ... erudite, compelling, generative, and frequently remarkably funny ... once you start thinking like Graeber and Wengrow, it's difficult to stop.

    Emily M. Kern, Boston Review
  • A spectacular, flashy and ground-breaking retelling of human history, blazing with iconoclastic rebuttals to conventional wisdom. Full of fresh thinking, it's a pleasure to read and offers a bracing challenge on every page.

    Simon Sebag Montefiore, BBC History
  • A timely, intriguing, original and provocative take on the most recent thirty thousand years of human history ... consistently thought-provoking ... In forcing us to re-examine some of the cosy assumptions about our deep past, Graeber and Wengrow remind us very clearly of the perils of holding ourselves captive to a deterministic vision of human history as we try to shape our future.

    James Suzman, Literary Review
  • An engrossing series of insights ... They re-inject humanity into our distant forebears, suggesting that our prevailing story about human history - that not much innovation occurred in human societies until the invention of agriculture - is utterly wrong.

    Anthony Doerr, Observer
  • Fascinating, thought-provoking, groundbreaking. A book that will generate debate for years to come.

    Rutger Bregman
  • The Dawn of Everything is also the radical revision of everything, liberating us from the familiar stories about humanity's past that are too often deployed to impose limitations on how we imagine humanity's future. Instead they tell us that what human beings are most of all is creative, from the beginning, so that there is no one way we were or should or could be. Another of the powerful currents running through this book is a reclaiming of Indigenous perspectives as a colossal influence on European thought, a valuable contribution to decolonizing global histories.

    Rebecca Solnit

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