Wed, 12 January 2022

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

The Dawn of Everything – A New History of Humanity

Yanis Varoufakis Meets David Wengrow

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The collaborator of the late, legendary anthropologist David Graeber joins Yanis Varoufakis to overturn everything you think you know about the history of human civilisation.

We all know how the story of humankind begins. Our remote ancestors were primitive and childlike, living in egalitarian hunter-gatherer bands. Then came farming and property, priests and kings, wealth and its unavoidable consequence: inequality.

But what if everything we thought we knew about the origins of human civilisation is a myth?

Drawing on cutting edge archaeological evidence, the late David Graeber and his collaborator David Wengrow have told an ambitious and revelatory new history of the world – one that overturns the notion of Rosseau’s innocent Noble Savage and the ‘nasty, brutish and short’ lives of Thomas Hobbes alike.

Now, in conversation with former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, David Wengrow will take us from egalitarian early cities in Mexico and Mesopotamia to part-time kings and queens in Ice Age Europe, and challenge our assumptions about the origins of cities, democracy, slavery, and civilisation itself.

This livestream event will transform your understanding of our past and offer a powerful, playful, and extraordinarily original vision of our future.

Praise for David Graeber and David Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything:

‘Groundbreaking… A book that will generate debate for years to come’ Rutger Bregman

‘An intellectual feast… It is deep, effortlessly iconoclastic, factually rigorous, and pleasurable to read’ Nassim Nicholas Taleb

‘Briskly overthrows old and obsolete assumptions about the past, renews our intellectual and spiritual resources, and reveals, miraculously, the future as open-ended. The most bracing book I have read in recent years’ Pankaj Mishra

The Dawn of Everything is also the radical revision of everything, liberating us from the familiar stories about humanity’s past that are too often deployed to impose limitations on how we imagine humanity’s future’ Rebecca Solnit

‘Graeber and Wengrow have effectively overturned everything I ever thought about the history of the world. The most profound and exciting book I’ve read in thirty years’ Robin D.G. Kelley

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Yanis Varoufakis

Economics professor, ex-Finance minister of Greece and best-selling author.

Yanis Varoufakis is the author of the bestselling Talking to My Daughter: A Brief History of Capitalism and two previous books. Born in Athens in 1961, Yanis Varoufakis was for many years a professor of economics in Britain, Australia and the USA before he entered politics. He is co-founder of the international grassroots movement, DiEM25, and in 2019 won election as one of its representatives in the Greek Parliament. He is currently Professor of Economics at the University of Athens.

David Wengrow

Professor of Comparative Archaeology

David Wengrow is a professor of comparative archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and has been a visiting professor at New York University. He is the author of three books, including What Makes Civilization? Wengrow conducts archaeological fieldwork in various parts of Africa and the Middle East.