The Journey of Humanity: The Origins of Wealth and Inequality

Written by:
Oded Galor
Narrated by:
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2022
8 hours 46 minutes
A landmark, radically uplifting account of our species’ progress, from one of the world's preeminent thinkers.

“Unparalleled in its scope and ambition…All readers will learn something, and many will find the book fascinating.’—The Washington Post

“Breathtaking. A new Sapiens!” —L'Express

“Completely brilliant and utterly original ... a book for our epoch.”—Jon Snow, former presenter, Channel 4 News (UK)

“A wildly ambitious attempt to do for economics what Newton, Darwin or Einstein did for their fields: develop a theory that explains almost everything.” —The New Statesman

“An inspiring, readable, jargon-free and almost impossibly erudite masterwork.” —The New Statesman

“[A] sweeping overview of cultural, technological and educational forces... Its breadth and ambition are reminiscent of Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Harari’s Sapiens.”—Financial Times

“Astounding in scope and insight...provides the keys to the betterment of our species.”—Nouriel Roubini, author of Crisis Economics

“A masterful sweep through the human odyssey.... If you liked Sapiens, you'll love this.” —Lewis Dartnell, author of Origins

“Oded Galor's attempt to unify economic theory is impressive and insightful.” —Will Hutton, The Guardian
“A great historical fresco.” —Le Monde

“It's a page-turner, a suspense-filled thriller full of surprises, mind-bending puzzles and profound insights!”—Glenn C. Loury, author of The Anatomy of Racial Inequality

“Brilliantly weaves the threads of global economic history. A tour de force!”—Dani Rodrik, author of Straight Talk on Trade

In a captivating journey from the dawn of human existence to the present, world-renowned economist and thinker Oded Galor offers an intriguing solution to two of humanity’s great mysteries.

Why are humans the only species to have escaped—only very recently—the subsistence trap, allowing us to enjoy a standard of living that vastly exceeds all others? And why have we progressed so unequally around the world, resulting in the great disparities between nations that exist today? Galor’s gripping narrative explains how technology, population size, and adaptation led to a stunning “phase change” in the human story a mere two hundred years ago. But by tracing that same journey back in time and peeling away the layers of influence—colonialism, political institutions, societal structure, culture—he arrives also at an explanation of inequality’s ultimate causes: those ancestral populations that enjoyed fruitful geographical characteristics and rich diversity were set on the path to prosperity, while those that lacked it were disadvantaged in ways still echo today.

As we face ecological crisis across the globe, The Journey of Humanity is a book of urgent truths and enduring relevance, with lessons that are both hopeful and profound: gender equality, investment in education, and balancing diversity with social cohesion are the keys not only to our species’ thriving but to its survival.
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