To solve the problems of the twenty-first century, historian John Charles Chasteen argues that we must first know our shared human story.
In After Eden, prominent Latin American historian John Charles Chasteen provided a concise history of the world, in which he explores the origins and persistence of the timeless phenomena of humanity’s inhumanity to itself. Where did it come from? Why has it been so prevalent throughout our history? And, most importantly, can we overcome it? Chasteen argues that to do so, we must understand our shared past. While much of that past is violent, we can look for inspiration from major periods when we strived to live more cooperatively, such as our early foraging periods, to the creation of universal religions and ethical systems, the birth of the ideas of individual liberty and freedom, the rise of socialism in response to the massive excesses of global capitalism, the civil rights and decolonization movements of the twentieth century, to the environmental and social justice movements of today.
Once we understand who and what we are as a species and a people, we will be in the best position to figure out how to work together to tackle the greatest challenges we face today—mass global inequality and the destruction of our environment. Fully informed by the latest scholarship, After Eden presents a down-to earth, fast-paced narrative of world history, animated by stories of people from all walks of life and enriched by insightful analysis and the author’s extensive world travel.