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  • Published: 13 April 2021
  • ISBN: 9780753554951
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $35.00

A Short History of Humanity

How Migration Made Us Who We Are




An international bestseller, covering 2 million years of human history in 250 pages, which proves that migration has always been essential to our survival.

Humanity has often found itself on the precipice. We've survived and thrived because we've never stopped moving...

In this eye-opening book, Johannes Krause, Chair of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Humanity, offers a new way of understanding our past, present and future.

Marshalling unique insights from archaeogenetics, an emerging new discipline that allows us to read our ancestors' DNA like journals chronicling personal stories of migration, Krause charts two millennia of adaption, movement and survival, culminating in the triumph of Homo Sapiens as we swept through Europe and beyond in successive waves of migration - developing everything from language, the patriarchy, disease, art and a love of pets as we did so.

We also meet our ancestors, from those many of us have heard of - such as Homo Erectus and the Neanderthals - to the wildly unfamiliar but no less real: the recently discovered Denisovans, who ranged across Asia and, like humans, interbred with Neanderthals; the Aurignacians, skilled artists who, 40,000 years ago, brought about an extraordinary transformation in what our species could invent and create; the Varna, who buried their loved ones with gold long before the Pharaohs of Egypt did; and the Gravettians, big game hunters who were Europe's most successful early settlers until they perished in the face of the toughest opponent humanity had ever faced: the ice age.

As well as being a radical new telling of our shared story, this book is a reminder that the global problems that keep us awake at night - climate catastrophe; the sudden emergence of deadly epidemics; refugee crises; ethnic conflict; over-population - are all things we've faced, and overcome, before.

  • Published: 13 April 2021
  • ISBN: 9780753554951
  • Imprint: WH Allen
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $35.00

About the authors

Johannes Krause

Johannes Krause is the director of the newly founded Max Planck Institute for the History of Humanity in Jena. He worked on the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome. In 2010 he and his team discovered the Denisova Man, a prehistoric man. The science journal Nature described him as "rising star in ancient DNA research".

Thomas Trappe

Thomas Trappe is a political journalist but has frequently worked in science journalism and reported several times on Johannes Krause's research.

Praise for A Short History of Humanity

‘Extremely enriching. Rarely, have I been able to learn so much and get such radically new insights on 250 pages.’

Süddeutsche Zeitung

‘Modern archaeogenetics provides compelling new facts for the current migration debate, but also some real explosives. [A] cornucopia of new knowledge [...], easily accessible as gripping as a historical thriller.’

FAZ

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