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Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up
Cover of Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up
Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up
*NOW AN INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER*
"Witty and entertaining."—Sarah Knight
"Laugh-out-loud."—Steve Brusatte
AN EXHILARATING JOURNEY THROUGH THE MOST CREATIVE AND CATASTROPHIC F*CK-UPS OF HUMAN HISTORY

Modern humans have come a long way in the seventy thousand years they've walked the earth. Art, science, culture, trade—on the evolutionary food chain, we're true winners. But it hasn't always been smooth sailing, and sometimes—just occasionally—we've managed to truly f*ck things up.
Weaving together history, science, politics and pop culture, Humans offers a panoramic exploration of humankind in all its glory, or lack thereof. From Lucy, our first ancestor, who fell out of a tree and died, to General Zhou Shou of China, who stored gunpowder in his palace before a lantern festival, to the Austrian army attacking itself one drunken night, to the most spectacular fails of the present day, Humans reveals how even the most mundane mistakes can shift the course of civilization as we know it. Lively, wry and brimming with brilliant insight, this unique compendium offers a fresh take on world history and is one of the most entertaining reads of the year.
*NOW AN INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER*
"Witty and entertaining."—Sarah Knight
"Laugh-out-loud."—Steve Brusatte
AN EXHILARATING JOURNEY THROUGH THE MOST CREATIVE AND CATASTROPHIC F*CK-UPS OF HUMAN HISTORY

Modern humans have come a long way in the seventy thousand years they've walked the earth. Art, science, culture, trade—on the evolutionary food chain, we're true winners. But it hasn't always been smooth sailing, and sometimes—just occasionally—we've managed to truly f*ck things up.
Weaving together history, science, politics and pop culture, Humans offers a panoramic exploration of humankind in all its glory, or lack thereof. From Lucy, our first ancestor, who fell out of a tree and died, to General Zhou Shou of China, who stored gunpowder in his palace before a lantern festival, to the Austrian army attacking itself one drunken night, to the most spectacular fails of the present day, Humans reveals how even the most mundane mistakes can shift the course of civilization as we know it. Lively, wry and brimming with brilliant insight, this unique compendium offers a fresh take on world history and is one of the most entertaining reads of the year.
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About the Author-
  • Tom Phillips is an author and journalist from London. He is currently the editor of Full Fact, the UK's independent fact checking organisation; before that, he was editorial director at BuzzFeed UK. His previous book, Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up (a history of failure through the ages), was published in 2018 and has sold in 30 territories worldwide.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2019
    It's an article of faith and certainty among many humanistic circles that the enterprise of our species has been one of continual progress, to which London-based humorist Phillips replies, bollocks.It's been a mess ever since our protohominid arboreal ancestor, Lucy, fell out of a tree and died only to have her bones discovered in the 1970s and become a star of paleontology: "And yet," writes the author, "the only reason we know about her is because, bluntly, she fucked up." According to Phillips, humans are particularly good at this, and instances of error outweigh our better achievements. The author's approach is spirited and goofy, and though the fault-finding can seem excessive at times, you've got to enjoy a book that explores weird manias (including "outbreaks of panic that malign forces are stealing or shrinking men's penises") and misguided actions like introducing a potentially species-hopping virus to kill off the rabbits that humans introduced to Australia in the first place. Phillips can go obscure at the drop of a hat, as when he writes of the sultanship of Ahmed I of the Ottoman Empire and the brother-to-brother succession that followed his premature death: "It's fair to say that this did not go well." The author moves easily from subject to subject, and he does have a point: Some of our best-laid plans quickly go awry. A good example is the endless built-in struggle of democracy to balance tyrannies of the minority and keep from "sliding into autocracy," and it's undeniable, unless you benefit from denial, that we've made an incredible mess of the planet and are pretending things are OK "when instead we should probably be running around in a panic like our house was on fire, which...it sort of is."Al Gore by way of Monty Python. Readers should be aware of the F-bomb throughout, but otherwise we should all be hanging our heads in shame, lifting them for a frequent chuckle.

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up
Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up
Tom Phillips
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