A dazzling new history of the modern world, as told through the remarkable story of population change.
Every phase since the advent of the industrial revolution – from the fate of the British Empire, to the global challenges from Germany, Japan and Russia, to America's emergence as a sole superpower, to the Arab Spring, to the long-term decline of economic growth that started with Japan and has now spread to Europe, to China's meteoric economy, to Brexit and the presidency of Donald Trump – can be explained better when we appreciate the meaning of demographic change across the world.
The Human Tide is the first popular history book to redress the underestimated influence of population as a crucial factor in almost all of the major global shifts and events of the last two centuries – revealing how such events are connected by the invisible mutually catalysing forces of population.
This highly original history offers a brilliant and simple unifying theory for our understanding the last two hundred years: the power of sheer numbers. An ambitious, original, magisterial history of modernity, it taps into prominent preoccupations of our day and will transform our perception of history for many years to come.
Dr Paul Morland is associate research fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London and a renowned authority on demography. A French speaker with dual German and British citizenship, Paul was educated at Oxford University, and was awarded his PhD from the University of London.
"Paul Morland has rudely awakened us to the hidden hand of demography in shaping history and politics in the modern world [...] If you want to understand our times, you must read this book."
– Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Politics, Birkbeck University of London, author of Whiteshift
– Washington Post
– Sunday Times
– Evening Standard
"what are fascinating are the author's projections of where we are heading demographically"
– Rosamund Urwin, Sunday Times
"An admirable introduction to a vital subject"
– David Goodhart, The Times Weekend
"A fascinating account of how much sheer population numbers have mattered in human history – and why major demographic upheavals, happening now and over the next few decades, are going to affect us all"
– Alison Wolf
"Population has been historically one of the key factors that has defined the relations between states. As Paul Morland shows in this nuanced, highly informative and rigorously argued book, it has now become the defining factor for the political dynamics within states. The Human Tide shows that we live in an age of hard and soft demographic engineering"
– Ivan Krastev