THE TIMES BEST HISTORY BOOK OF 2023
A BOOK OF THE YEAR PICK FOR THE TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE AND FINANCIAL TIMES
A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK | AN INSTANT #2 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
‘Humanity has transformed the Earth: Frankopan transforms our understanding of history’ Financial Times
‘Vast, learned and timely work’ Sunday Times
From the international bestselling author of The Silk Roads comes a major history of how a changing climate has dramatically shaped the development—and demise—of civilisations across time.
When we think about history, we rarely pay much attention to the most destructive floods, the worst winters, the most devastating droughts or the ways that ecosystems have changed over time.
In The Earth Transformed, Peter Frankopan, one of the world’s leading historians, shows that the natural environment is a crucial, if not the defining, factor in global history – and not just of humankind. Volcanic eruptions, solar activities, atmospheric, oceanic and other shifts, as well as anthropogenic behaviour, are fundamental parts of the past and the present. In this magnificent and groundbreaking book, we learn about the origins of our species: about the development of religion and language and their relationships with the environment; about how the desire to centralise agricultural surplus formed the origins of the bureaucratic state; about how growing demands for harvests resulted in the increased shipment of enslaved peoples; about how efforts to understand and manipulate the weather have a long and deep history. All provide lessons of profound importance as we face a precarious future of rapid global warming.
Taking us from the Big Bang to the present day and beyond, The Earth Transformed forces us to reckon with humankind’s continuing efforts to make sense of the natural world.
‘This is epic, gripping, original history that leaps off the page’ Sathnam Sanghera, author of Empireland
‘All Historians aiming to tell a narrative face the problem of when exactly to start it. Only Peter Frankopan would go back 2.5 billion years to the Great Oxidation Event’ Tom Holland
A 2023 HIGHLIGHT FOR: BBC NEWS * SUNDAY TIMES CULTURE * FINANCIAL TIMES * NEW EUROPEAN * GUARDIAN * NEW STATESMAN * THE TIMES * THE WEEK * WATERSTONES * BLACKWELL’S