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Resetting History's Dial? A Critique of David Graeber and David Wengrow, "The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity"

Scheidel, Walter

Graeber and Wengrow’s sprawling new history of freedom has considerable strengths: its emphasis on formative processes that unfolded before literate civilizations appeared, its global reach, and its skepticism about the connection between state power and civilization. But it also suffers from serious shortcomings: the authors’ commitment to an excessively idealist view of historical dynamics, their use of rhetorical strategies that misguide their audience, and their resultant inability to account for broad trajectories of human development.

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