OriginsPosted: August 10, 2020
Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History
Narrated by John Sackville
Hachette Audio, May 14, 2019
$20.76 for Audible members, more for non-members
purchased with an Audible credit
Origins takes a fresh approach to human history. Lewis Dartnell writes about how the earth and its changes have influenced human activity.
He describes how plate tectonics have affected where humans have chosen to live. He explains how continental drift has affected human and animal movements: when there was a land bridge between Asia and the Americas humans went one way and the camel went the other. (Yes, camels originated in the Americas.) He shows how climate in different areas made the difference between the nomads of the steppes and settled agricultural people, and how climate change was in part responsible for clashes between the two types of cultures.
Dartnell discusses how the formation of the continents has affected both wind and water currents and how they affected the voyages of exploration in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. He points out that one could sail east or west by changing your latitude in the northern hemisphere, but that in the southern hemisphere you had to wait for the monsoon winds to change.
Narrator John Sackville offers a calm, pleasant reading of the book. Sometimes a bit too calm as I felt inclined to nod off at times, but it was a skilled, listenable narration nonetheless.