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  • Origins

  • How the Earth Shaped Human History
  • By: Lewis Dartnell
  • Narrated by: John Sackville
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)

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Origins

By: Lewis Dartnell
Narrated by: John Sackville
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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Origins by Lewis Dartnell, read by John Sackville.

When we talk about human history, we focus on great leaders, mass migration and decisive wars. But how has the Earth itself determined our destiny? How has our planet made us?

As a species we are shaped by our environment. Geological forces drove our evolution in East Africa; mountainous terrain led to the development of democracy in Greece; and today voting behaviour in the United States follows the bed of an ancient sea. The human story is the story of these forces, from plate tectonics and climate change, to atmospheric circulation and ocean currents.

How are the Himalayas linked to the orbit of the Earth, and to the formation of the British Isles? By taking us billions of years into our planet’s past, Professor Lewis Dartnell tells us the ultimate origin story. When we reach the point where history becomes science we see a vast web of connections that underwrites our modern world and helps us face the challenges of the future.

From the cultivation of the first crops to the founding of modern states, Origins reveals the Earth’s awesome impact on the shape of human civilizations.

©2019 Lewis Dartnell (P)2019 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

A sweeping, brilliant overview of the history not only of our species but of the world. Whether discussing the formation of continents or the role that climate (and climate change) has had on human migration, Lewis Dartnell has a rare talent in being able to see the big picture – and explaining why it matters. (Peter Frankopan, author of THE SILK ROADS)
Origins by Lewis Dartnell stands comparison with Yuval Noah Harari’s SapiensA thrilling piece of Big History (James McConnachie)
‘Extraordinary… Origins is one of those rare books that dissolves mystery through the steady application of sublime lucidity. While reading it, I kept thinking: “Oh, that makes sense…” … Dartnell understands geology, geography, anthropology, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy and history. That’s quite an achievement, but what makes him special is the way he communicates the interconnectedness of these disciplines in a clear, logical and entertaining way…Superb. (Gerard DeGroot)

What listeners say about Origins

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Awesome book

I absolutely loved this book, i learnt so much
Fantastic research done and great Narrator

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5 people found this helpful

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Fun pop geology

I hadn't studied geology or geography since the middle of high school, and listening to this book made me feel the lack. It places these subjects in a grand narrative of solar radiation and plate tectonics rather than as a collection of disconnected facts.

The first few chapters dealing with prehistory are probably the best - the later ones do occasionally wander into trivia, but even the trivia is pretty good. And the narrator has the perfect curious professor voice.

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3 people found this helpful

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Perspective altering, food for the curious mind.

Brilliant! This is the perfect accompaniment to the authors previous book The Knowledge. Reading this will have you seeing value in everything that surrounds you. Everything has its worth but these books are priceless! As was the case with The Knowledge, I will be eating up Origins time and again. Thanks must be given to Dr Lewis for taking the time to dig up this treasure trove of information. His “Knowledge” of “Origins” will have you seeing the world we stand on with a whole new perspective.

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2 people found this helpful

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l learned a lot, which is always a positive.

Very interesting. Narrator's voice soothing, I did sometimes drift off. Like being back at uni.

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Fascinating

It’s no easy feat to weave the threads of our planet’s history into such a compelling book. To articulate the chain of cause and effect that has shaped our world. The narration is a perfect fit for this thoughtful offering.

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Very Interesting

Very interesting perspective on the earth's development and our place within it.
This books offers a unique and well-researched perspective on the development of human society.
The narrator's voice is calm and a joy to listen to.
An informative pleasure.

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Fascinating

Wonderfully narrated, this is a fascinating overview of how the forces that shaped the world over the millennia affected the eventual development of humans.

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Brilliant listen

A wonderfully written book, loved the narrator as well. It gave an insightful and interesting look at how nature has shaped us. When the last chapter finished I was keen to hear more, feel it could have done with another chapter to summarise all of its vast points. Not sure if this is different with the physical book but some aspects really needed a diagram or picture to understand especially when referring to geology (book may have these) but I found listening to it it was hard to follow some parts about sea currents etc. however highly recommend especially if you enjoyed sapiens by Yuval Harari as it has a similar feel but delves into different aspects of a similar story.

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