Book: Brief History of the Human Race, A in English
Title: Brief History of the Human Race, A
Author: Cook, MichaelPublisher: Granta, 2004
Availability: 2-3 weeks
This book sweeps the whole of human history over the last ten thousand years and addresses some of the most fascinating questions about our past. Why did we first emerge as a species in Africa and why was the ancient Near East the place where civilisation took off? How did the great world religions arise and the worship of many gods give way to just one? And why did Britain, peripheral to world history for millennia, play such a dominant role in the last few centuries? Michael Cook explores the great forces that have shaped our past- natural disasters, human ingenuity, availability of resources- and along the way zooms in on some of the details of history, from the arcane burial customs of ancient Mexican kings to the design of snuff boxes. In a dazzlingly intelligent and witty account of our occupancy of this planet, Michael Cook shows that humankind has rarely been slow to take advantage of an opportunity- from the domestication of the horse to the exploration of space.