The dawn of everything A new history of humanity

David Graeber

Book - 2021

"A trailblazing account of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution-from the development of agriculture and cities to the emergence of "the state," political violence, and social 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 sacri...ficing 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. Drawing on pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology, the authors show how history becomes a far more interesting place once we learn to throw off our conceptual shackles 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 all that time? If agriculture, and cities, did not mean a plunge into hierarchy and domination, then what kinds of social and economic organization did they lead to? The answers are often unexpected, and suggest that the course of human history may be less set in stone, and more full of playful, hopeful possibilities, than we tend to assume. The Dawn of Everything fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path toward imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organizing society."--

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Subjects
Published
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2021.
Edition
First American edition
Language
English
Item Description
"Originally published in 2021 by Allen Lane, Great Britain"--Title page verso.
Physical Description
xii, 692 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 611-673) and index.
ISBN
9780374157357
Main Author
David Graeber (author)
Other Authors
D. Wengrow (author)
  • Farewell to humanity's childhood, Or, why this is not a book about the origins of inequality
  • Wicked liberty: The indigenous critique and the myth of progress
  • Unfreezing the Ice Age: In and out of chains: the protean possibilities of human politics
  • Free people, the origin of cultures, and the advent of private property (not necessarily in that order)
  • Many seasons ago: Why Canadian foragers kept slaves and their Californian neighbours didn't; or, the problem with 'modes of production'
  • Gardens of Adonis: The revolution that never happened: how Neolithic peoples avoided agriculture
  • The ecology of freedom: How farming first hopped, stumbled and bluffed its way around the world
  • Imaginary cities: Eurasia's first urbanites
  • in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, Ukraine and China
  • and how they built cities without kings
  • Hiding in plain sight: The indigenous origins of social housing and democracy in the Americas
  • Why the state has no origin: The humble beginnings of sovereignty, bureaucracy, and politics
  • Full circle: On the historical foundations of the indigenous critique
  • Conclusion: The dawn of everything.