Any good history book will make you occasionally say “huh!” when you learn something new. This book will make you want to run into traffic, press the book against the windshield of the first car that screeches to a halt, and yell at the driver: “Holy crap, did you know about this?!”
The Dawn of Everything made me question my assumptions about not just human history, but creativity, emotions, law, and—as corny as it sound—the meaning of life. A generation ago, Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel changed the conversation about human societies forever. The Dawn of Everything is set to pull off that same trick, but with a sense of style, humor, and empathy that Diamond and other dour predictivists often lack. Most impressive and surprising of all, reading this book about our species’ past actually gave me hope for our future. How many history books these days can manage that?