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Origins

How Earth's History Shaped Human History
Narrated by: John Sackville
Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times best-selling author explains how the physical world shaped the history of our species

When we talk about human history, we often focus on great leaders, population forces, and decisive wars. But how has the earth itself determined our destiny? Our planet wobbles, driving changes in climate that forced the transition from nomadism to farming. Mountainous terrain led to the development of democracy in Greece. Atmospheric circulation patterns later on shaped the progression of global exploration, colonization, and trade. Even today, voting behavior in the southeast United States ultimately follows the underlying pattern of 75 million-year-old sediments from an ancient sea. Everywhere is the deep imprint of the planetary on the human.

From the cultivation of the first crops to the founding of modern states, Origins reveals the breathtaking impact of the earth beneath our feet on the shape of our human civilizations.

©2019 Lewis Dartnell (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Dartnell's story is beautifully written and organized. His infectious curiosity and enthusiasm tug the reader from page to page, synthesizing geology, oceanography, meteorology, geography, palaeontology, archaeology and political history in a manner that recalls Jared Diamond's classic 1997 book Guns, Germs, and Steel." (Nature)

"The perfect blend of science and history. This is a book that will not only challenge our preconceptions about the past, but should make us think very carefully about humanity's future. Five stars." [Mail on Sunday (UK)]

"An original and timely way of looking at human history through the materials and natural resources that our species has employed to such effect. It should be read by everyone who ponders how long exploitation can continue on a finite planet." (Richard Fortey, author of Earth)

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  • Chefoo
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  • 07-19-19

Geology The Traction To Civilization

Fascinating tale of how geology is the traction to civilization. A little less redundancy in the telling perhaps?

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Embarrassingly Biased Storytelling

Despite the author’s factual representation of the evolution of Earth and the joined evolution of our species, his almost sycophantic anthropocentricism biases his interpretation and storytelling to the point where the book almost seems like a work of fiction. Ultimately, his point of view seems to be that following the geology of the Earth, the evolution of our species has been a wondrous blessing for the planet.

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Good Perspective

This book puts a good perspective on where we are now, where we came from, and and how the Earth and it's climate have shaped Humans from billions of years before their existence.