adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $34.90

Buy for $34.90

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike - either free and equal, or thuggish and warlike. Civilisation, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the 18th century as a reaction to Indigenous critiques of European society and why they are wrong. In doing so, they overturn our view of human history, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery and civilisation itself.

Drawing on path-breaking research in archaeology and anthropology, the authors show how history becomes a far more interesting place once we begin to see what's really there. If humans did not spend 95 per cent of their evolutionary past in tiny bands of hunter-gatherers, what were they doing all that time? If agriculture, and cities, did not mean a plunge into hierarchy and domination, then what kinds of social and economic organisation did they lead to? The answers are often unexpected and suggest that the course of history may be less set in stone and more full of playful possibilities than we tend to assume.

The Dawn of Everything fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human past and offers a path towards imagining new forms of freedom, new ways of organising society. This is a monumental book of formidable intellectual range, animated by curiosity, moral vision and faith in the power of direct action.

©2021 David Graeber, David Wengrow (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Pacey and potentially revolutionary." (Sunday Times)

"Iconoclastic and irreverent...an exhilarating read." (Guardian)
 

"Boldly ambitious, entertaining and thought-provoking." (Observer)

What listeners say about The Dawn of Everything

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    28
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Better than Yuval Harari’s Sapiens

A brilliant, wide ranging and fascinating journey into human history that references intellectual and indigenous voices alike.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliantly mind opening

A stunningly detailed account of the key conceptions and misconceptions about early civilisation. A must read for anyone who thinks contemporary accounts of history just don’t add up.

The narration is compelling and sincere, a joy to listen to.

Overall whilst it is a mammoth undertaking it is rewarding, especially the well thought out conclusion.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just awesome!

The audiobook is an amazing companion to the real thing.

The book itself is incredible well written and mind blowing.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating, challenging provocative and entertaining

A powerful critique of received wisdom and an open challenge to current researchers and university curriculums. Should be required reading for anyone interested in the human condition. Highly recommended

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars

not suited to this format

this is an important landmark academic document. it is conceptually dense and needs to be poured over to unpack. The audiobook format presents it in an upbeat 'level' toner which impedes comprehension.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Olly Buxton
  • Olly Buxton
  • 11-11-21

not the great revolution I was expecting

David Graeber was a genuinely provocative and original thinker, a beautiful writer, and his “Debt: The First 5000 years” is a really thought-provoking book. Perhaps I have been softened up having read works by James C Scott, Jane Jacobs, Barbara Tuchman, Jeremy Lent and others, but this wasn't the epic gobsmacker it was billed as. It is interesting, but not gripping, and the promised takedowns of Yuval Harari and Steven Pinker weren't quite as eviscerating as I was hoping.

Graeber’s post structuralist approach means he can't king-hit conventional wisdom anything like as hard as he would clearly like to - the best he can do is say “this is coloured and biased by X and y perspectives, and here's an alternative perspective ...” but he would have too concede that his perspective, too, is necessarily biased and coloured, drawing just as selectively and extrapolating just as willfully from the record.

Fairly well read but the narrator's tone, whether by accident or design, errs on the side of sounding snide, which doesn't help the presentation.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for aviv sion
  • aviv sion
  • 01-09-22

The Dawn of Everything, a difficult listen

I found this a really difficult Listen. Boring, scattered and it's difficult to follow what the overall point that the writers are trying to illustrate in each chapter is..
couldn't finish

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MR NEIL CADWALLADER
  • MR NEIL CADWALLADER
  • 01-05-22

Poorly narrated

It is well written but I found the narrator so irritating I was unable to complete the book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for pipsqueak
  • pipsqueak
  • 12-28-21

Judgemental

This might be good but I struggled with tone of narration. “Everyone who has come before me is a complete idiot”. Found it hard to take the book seriously with such emotional bias in the reading

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Liam
  • Liam
  • 01-03-22

Challenges the myths of how societies develop

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book, very well reproduced as an audiobook.
It has become axiomatic that societies develop from hunter-gatherer to rural farming to urban, commercial, then industrial. This book challenges this assumption with multiple well-described examples. Why shouldn’t people like us (our ancestors) have been just as capable as we are of living in multiple different ways?
The world and our history is much more complex than simple myths of “inevitable progress” might suggest.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Prof
  • Prof
  • 12-08-21

a curates egg

history good but interpretation very right on. left me realising that social science is an oxymoron.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Abi
  • Abi
  • 01-06-22

Anthropology and Arciolagy as an allegory for now

A "must read" or those who feel that the world is full of political, religious and technological danger! Think of it as a translation of the evidence attesting to the wisdom and the folly of our ancestors.

This is a wonderful work of scientific synthesis.

If Science is one of the defining forms of mythos in modernity and if you want to understand the stories told by politicians, pundits and philosophers this will help you make sense of the future with reference to the past.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for R Jarrald
  • R Jarrald
  • 01-05-22

Insightful and fascinating

Really enjoyed this book. Coverage was superb and insights often profound. The audiobook was very useful for a good many commutes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Richard Tol
  • Richard Tol
  • 12-17-21

Great book

Good introduction to the latest in archaeology and anthropology with an amusing overlay of theory.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Hamid
  • Hamid
  • 12-16-21

Brilliantly researched and full of fresh ideas

I enjoyed the book very much. The ideas it put forth are amazingly fresh, even mind blowing some times. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in knowing whether the hierarchical political systems that are everywhere today are the inevitable consequence of human advancement or not!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Whimmy
  • Whimmy
  • 01-17-22

Fantastic book but mediocre narration

This book is clearly revalationary, and is our last book from David Graeber, RIP. In typical Graeber fashion it is overflowing with details but is boiled down to some simple principles to remember that have massive consequences.
The narration is bland, and unforgiving for the heavy academic nature of the writing. All of the humour is lost in the steady and unwavering voice that feels closer to a robot librarian than the actual excitement that Wengrow and Graeber would have had.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Douglas
  • Douglas
  • 01-13-22

Illuminating!

Couldn’t put it down, illuminating and ultimately offers hope that the situation we have put the world in, could have been, and indeed still can be very different!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-28-21

Startling and Enlightening!

This intellectual examination of all the philosophy and fixed ideas of the development of civilization really turned my views upside down and shone light on many areas of human history that I had NO idea existed. A deeply important message for our time.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-21-21

Different take on early civilisations

Great the have a well researched book on how ancient people lived.
Throws a different light on just linear
evolution. Really we tried different things & mixed & matched, and just lived in a way that suited the population & the environment. The reader was a little monotone so needed a break occasionally.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rhyan
  • Rhyan
  • 12-17-21

best book i read all year

absolutely amazing, well performed, compelling content
interesting ideas convincingly conveyed and supported
i dont often evangelise about books but i have reccomended this many times already

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Thomas Carson
  • Thomas Carson
  • 12-01-21

Everything we know is wrong.

This is probably one of the most significant pieces of literature published in the last 50 years. it directly challenges with substantial amount of evidence many of the assumptions about how societies develop

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul R Harmon
  • Paul R Harmon
  • 11-23-21

A Must read for All

Few individuals have the ability to reorganise our understanding of ourselves beyond the paths that are set in our deterministic lives. I'm grateful for them to share their insights to help us grow and develop and aim to always keep trying to ask better questions.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sarah Beattie-Smith
  • Sarah Beattie-Smith
  • 11-11-21

essential reading

bloody brilliant book. turns our ideas of the origins of 'civilisation' on their head. excellent

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stan
  • Stan
  • 11-11-21

Current societal structures are not inevitable

The authors claim that current archaeological evidence demonstrates that non-hierarchical forms of social organisation were consciously and successfully pursued in many locations across various times. I found myself reflecting on Dark Emu and the agriculture debate - the idea that a people would reject (European style of) agriculture rather than be incapable of conceiving it. This was far from a key issue.

The authors overturn the simplistic notion that increased agricultural and other technologies necessarily require centralised command societies and that our present systems are the result of a “Darwinian” inevitability related to societal scale. They say such logic is fallacious and are not historical necessities.

They argue that this allows for new forms of social organisation to be generated.

It is both a dense and disparate argument and I let it wash over me.

On that, I audioread it. And I found myself very early wondering why these American authors had an English person reading their text. I realised that he had a very clipped and precise enunciation - perfect for a factual book that was not about personalities. Then I wondered, will I understand this at double speed? Yes! 24 hours (about 800 pages), was managed in 12.