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 $42.52

Buy for $42.52

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

A trailblazing account of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution - from the development of agriculture and cities to the emergence of "the state", political violence, and social inequality - and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation.

For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike - either free and equal innocents, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, 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 conservative reaction to powerful critiques of European society posed by Indigenous observers and intellectuals. Revisiting this encounter has startling implications for how we make sense of human history today, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery, and civilization itself.

Drawing on pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology, the authors show how history becomes a far more interesting place once we learn to throw off our conceptual shackles and perceive what’s really there. If humans did not spend 95 percent 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 organization did they lead to? What was really happening during the periods that we usually describe as the emergence of "the state"? The answers are often unexpected, and suggest that the course of human history may be less set in stone, and more full of playful, hopeful possibilities, than we tend to assume.

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

A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

©2021 David Graeber and David Wengrow (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Dawn of Everything

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    84
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    76
  • 4 Stars
    12
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    4

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

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

exactly what I've been looking for

Great book, reader is solid. not sure what the other reviewer's problem was. the reader is British, but has clear English and a varied jovial reading voice. Almost every other book he has narrated has near 5 starts. Just wanted to get in early and let potential listeners that the coast is all clear and it is not a waste of a credit.

The information is golden. I also like the writing style of the authors. Lots of light humor and a bit of sarcasm. Well laid out theories.

32 people found this helpful

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

I was an Anthropology Major

When studying the 'foraging' tribes, it is NEVER from the tribes' point of view in any textbook I got as a student. This book is opening my eyes to a truth that I hope will become the norm in Social Science, and the mainstream public.

19 people found this helpful

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

Embarrassingly Bad

David Graeber may have been a genius, but this posthumous work is an embarrassment to his intellectual legacy. One can only imagine that it’s David Wengrow doing the actual writing. In chapter 1, the authors criticize that other scholars aren’t willing to speculate on the topic of inequality; thus implying some unknown proportion of this book is speculative instead of say, scholarship.

In chapter 3, the authors go after Yuval Harari for comparing humans to apes (they appear unaware that hominids and by extension humans are a form of ape; this impression of ignorance is reinforced with an interchangeable use of the words monkey and ape a few sentences later). They use this comparison to liken Harari to avowed white supremacists, something so absurd and shameful I want to smack both Davids in response.

The tone of this work is strident, arrogant and very young, and they found the narrator that conveys these qualities. I found his higher pitch painful to my ears. It’s like listening to a college freshman home for winter break, filled to the brim with wokeness of his professor and eager to tell his family how wrong they all are for every opinion they’ve ever held. The rhetoric and fallacious logic are expressed, but the nuance and maturity of the person who actually held the views is absent.

12 people found this helpful

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

Performance!!!

After seeing the only other review, I was pleasantly surprised. I'm partially through and cannot wait to hear the rest.

11 people found this helpful

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

challenging and educational

this is a great take on societal evolution. As well as educational in new areas of learning for the casual listener. I really enjoyed it, and found a lot of other edustional avenues to explore through the refrences and quotes.

10 people found this helpful

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

Hits the spot

It’s like sitting in a lecture with your favorite history professor. Extremely interesting and important information. Recommended for any listener, not just the history/anthropology buff.

7 people found this helpful

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

Excellent

This paired with Graeber's Debt is a fantastic one-two punch to the common narrative of how society functions. Both lay bare the arrogance and paternalism of the the so called modern West.

If you are an American, adding Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, will further drive home the key points raised in the other two books.

The Dawn of Everything is a huge breath of fresh air in these dark times and just the boost I needed to keep going in this crazy world.

5 people found this helpful

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

A monotone reading from a boring textbook

So disappointed and I preordered this book only to a unexpressive reader read a textbook with no heart. Don't waste a credit.

5 people found this helpful

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

TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON THE INEQUALITIES IN HISTORY

~ This book is not about the history or evolution of humankind as a factual reference.
~ It is a story cloaked as an objective & comparative narration of evolution with human history, whereas inequality values is the main subjective focus.
~ It is all about inequality throughout history, focusing on recanting, retorting, & reprosing upon it thru an Egalitarian point of view.
~ Egalitarians believe all people should be treated equal & have equal opportunities.
~ The whole story emotionally compares evolution to history on an extreme polar inequality basis, mainly as an objective differentiation of rich vs poor, intelligent vs innocent, strong vs weak, etc. thru the eyes of egalitarians.
~ It is basically a toned down complaint about humankind history's inequalities.

3 people found this helpful

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

Rest In Peace David, No one has changed my view of history more times.

It’s really hard to feel optimistic about the choices ahead of us, but this powerful ode to human imagination across history across geography and across technological advance has my mind bursting at the seams imagining all the ways to live together we’ve tried and all the ways beautiful we haven’t yet had the chance to

1 person found this helpful