Inheritance: The Evolutionary Origins of the Modern World (Hardback)
  • Inheritance: The Evolutionary Origins of the Modern World (Hardback)
zoom

Inheritance: The Evolutionary Origins of the Modern World (Hardback)

(author)
£25.00
Hardback 368 Pages
Published: 13/06/2024
  • Coming soon

Awaiting publication

  • This item has been added to your basket

The ancient inheritance that made us who we are. The ancient inheritance that is now driving us to ruin.

Each of us is endowed with an inheritance. A set of ancient biases, forged through countless millennia of natural and cultural selection, which shape every facet of our behaviour. For generations, this inheritance has taken us to ever greater heights, driving the rise of more sophisticated technologies, more organized religions, more expansive empires. But now, for the first time, it is failing us. We find ourselves careering towards a future of unprecedented political polarization, deadlier wars, and environmental destruction.

In Inheritance, renowned anthropologist Harvey Whitehouse offers a sweeping account of how our evolved biases have shaped humanity’s past and imperil its future. Unveiling a pioneering new way of viewing our collective history – one that weaves together psychological experiments, on-theground fieldwork, and big data – Whitehouse introduces three biases that shape human behaviour everywhere: conformism, religiosity, and tribalism.

These biases have catalysed the greatest transformations in human history, from the birth of agriculture and arrival of the first kings to the rise and fall of human sacrifice and creation of multiethnic empires. Yet today, they are driving us to ruin. Taking us deep into New Guinea tribes, Libyan militias, and predatory ad agencies, Whitehouse shows how the tools we once used to manage our biases are breaking down, with devastating implications for us all.

By uncovering how human nature has shaped our collective history, Inheritance reveals a surprising new path to solving our most urgent problems. The result is a powerful reappraisal of the human journey; one that transforms our understanding of who we are, and who we could be.

Publisher: Cornerstone
ISBN: 9781529152227
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 750 g
Dimensions: 240 x 156 x 40 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A bold and sweeping analysis that ranges widely through time, across geographies and through different kinds of human societies. A book of rare ambition and scope. - PETER FRANKOPAN, author of The Silk Roads

A compelling, thoughtful, nuanced, and ultimately hopeful new perspective on our history, present crises, and future potential . . . This book is a masterpiece – important, thought-provoking, and great fun to read. - KATE FOX, author of Watching the English

This fascinating book combines ground-breaking research with compelling storytelling to reveal how humanity’s deepest tendencies towards conforming, believing and belonging have profoundly shaped our many histories and current realities . . . Profoundly thought-provoking – dive in. - KATE RAWORTH, author of Doughnut Economics

Remarkably readable . . . A powerful argument that the behaviour change we need is more likely to occur if we make use of our evolved human nature, rather than seek to transcend it. - PETER SINGER, author of Animal Liberation

A profoundly important book, of breathtaking scope. Whitehouse shows how evolution sculpted our psychological make-up, how we overcame its limitations over the course of world history, and how we can wield this knowledge to face the challenges of the future. Full of deep insights into human nature, this is a work of compelling conviction by a master in the field. - LEWIS DARTNELL, author of Being Human

An insightful and breathtaking exploration of humanity’s evolutionary baggage that explains some of our species’ greatest successes and failures. - YUVAL NOAH HARARI, author of Sapiens

This lucid and original book is important not only as a guide to underlying dynamics in contemporary society but also as an exemplary interweaving of approaches from the natural and social sciences. - RICHARD WRANGHAM, author of Catching Fire

A brilliant synthesis of insights from psychology, anthropology, and big historical data analytics that throws penetrating light on the evolutionary trajectories of human societies, and on how we collectively can shape a better future for humanity. - PETER TURCHIN, author of End Times

If you spend a lot of time thinking the world seems to have gone mad, bad and dangerous, this thoughtful and thought-provoking book won't just help you work out why that might be – it will also help you see a better path forward. - KRISHNAN GURU-MURTHY, Channel 4 News presenter

A very powerful, provocative and inspiring analysis of the human condition which seeks to explain where our societies are going wrong today - and how to put them right. Whitehouse bravely takes an ambitious interdisciplinary view that captures the sweep of history, tackling topics ranging from social media and modern political polarization to ancient religious cults, nomadic societies and more. His arguments about the three core features shaping humans - conformity, religiosity and tribalism - are thought-provoking, and offer an excellent lens to frame events today. Compelling and highly readable, this book shows why anthropology matters. - GILLIAN TETT, Provost of King's College, Cambridge

You may also be interested in...

Settling the Earth
Added to basket
£27.99
Paperback
Catching Fire
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The English
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
Beyond the Body Proper
Added to basket
The Origin of Our Species
Added to basket
Ordinary Affects
Added to basket
Body Studies: The Basics
Added to basket
Forgotten Voices Of The Great War
Added to basket
Why Is Sex Fun?
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Longitudinal Qualitative Research
Added to basket
Wherever Green Is Worn
Added to basket
The Body Multiple
Added to basket
£21.99
Paperback
Critical Race Theory
Added to basket
Antiracist Education
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.

env: aptum
branch: