Working paper Open Access

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.

Files (356.6 kB)
Name Size
Scheidel on Graeber and Wengrow.pdf
356.6 kB Download
All versions This version
Views 6,4206,420
Downloads 5,6135,613
Data volume 2.0 GB2.0 GB
Unique views 5,9565,956
Unique downloads 5,0725,072


Cite as