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Good Reads  Reference  Physical Sciences  Popular Science

Being Human How Our Biology Shaped World History

By: Lewis Dartnell(Author)
288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
Being Human
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  • Being Human ISBN: 9781529925531 Paperback Jun 2024 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • Being Human ISBN: 9781847926708 Hardback Jun 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
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About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Being Human is history made flesh. It will change how you see the world.

We're a wonder of evolution, capable of incredible feats. But we're also deeply flawed. Our bodies and minds often break, fail, and hinder us. To be human is to live with this extraordinary contradiction. So, to understand the course humanity has taken – from prehistoric times through the age of empire and into the modern era – we must understand who, and what, we are.

Lewis Dartnell takes us on a mind-expanding journey across time to show how our biology has determined history. From the epidemic that brought Europe's peasants freedom, to the health deficiency which gave rise to the world's largest criminal organisation, to the cognitive biases that led to military catastrophes in Crimea and Iraq, we see how our unique nature shaped our relationships, economies and societies – and, importantly, how it continues to impact human progress today.

Customer Reviews


Lewis Dartnell is an astrobiology researcher and professor at the University of Westminster, and also an Honorary Research Associate at University College London (UCL). He is the author of the bestselling books The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch and Origins: How the Earth Made Us, which has been translated into 26 languages. He writes for the Guardian, The Times and New Scientist. Copies of The Knowledge exist on the surface of the Moon, and in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

By: Lewis Dartnell(Author)
288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
Media reviews

"This book is quite literally wonderful"
– Ed Conway, author of Material World

"A wild ride"
– Tim Harford, author of How to Make the World Add Up

"A gripping, red-blooded narrative from a master storyteller"
– Jo Marchant, author of Cure

"Always an interesting and engaging writer, Dartnell [...] finds fascinating nuggets in familiar stories"

"I've always liked Dartnell's books for their factiness"
Sunday Times

"[A] revealing survey [...] Biology determines more than personal destiny"
New Statesman

"[A] fascinating lucky dip of a book"
Mail on Sunday

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