Book Review: Dawn Of Everything, Why You Must Read It?

Jorge Olson

May 12, 2023

The Dawn of Everything: My “Aha Moment” of this Book 

The prevailing history of humanity is that it’s linear. We evolved from humble innocent nomads to enlightened modern humans. Well, what if the opposite was true? What if the ancients of five thousand, even ten thousand years ago were the smarter ones? And us, what we in the West see as the future of civilization, have a flawed perception of life and happiness.  

The history of social, or human evolution is not linear as I was taught in high school, college, and beyond. We didn’t start by being gatherers, then, hunter-gatherers, followed by the agricultural revolution and the dawn of intellectual abstract thought of the modern human. Even the term social evolution implies that we were different somehow ten thousand years ago, or forty thousand years ago, and now we’re better, more evolved; maybe even the contrary is true. 

In The Dawn of Everything, Authors David Graeber I and David Wengrow teach us the different theories and research on the history of humanity, letting us join in with our own interpretations and conclusions. The authors don’t sell us one view of history but present all the facts, and explain who proposed those facts, and even offer a short biography on the historians to give us perspective and context. For example, a historian of the conquest and colonization of a country that is part of the monarchy that did the conquering, might not be the best source of information, such is the case for the Americas with the historic perspective of the English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.  

One of my favorite parts of the book is where the authors talk about great thinkers and philosophers from the conquered Americas, and how they influenced European thinkers and not only the other way around. Another idea that stayed with me is “Practice Agriculture,” which I imagine was private gardens, where families could supplement their hunting and gathering, or in other parts of the world, their kept animals. What this means is that our ancestors did discover agriculture, but didn’t really like it, it was too much work compared with the other forms of subsistence, contradicting again the linear thought that progress in human thinking and a better way of life comes through the roads of agriculture.  

This book is on my list of Must Reads for everyone, regardless of your interests and profession. I think the book will propel your knowledge of who we are, and why the modern world works the way it does. My hope is that this and future generations see alternative, proven ways of government, politics, and quality of life. 

How can you apply the knowledge from The Dawn of Everything? 

In your view of happiness and your personal pursuit of what you think is your personal Nirvana, this book will show you different levels of living across humanity, so that you can make your own decision, instead of letting society dictate what should make you happy. 

As far as my own application of knowledge, I’m already using it to define or redefine my values on life and work, and I will continue to use it as reference material for my own books.  

I listened to the twenty-four-hour-long audiobook, and you could also read the seven-hundred-page book, both available on Amazon-Audible as well as many libraries. I got the book through my San Diego County Library through the phone App Libby. Since this book is now on the top list of books to read, I’ll purchase it both on Audible and printed in order to refer back and use it in my own writing and teaching.


My Top Ten Takeaways from the Book “The Dawn of Everything” 

  1. History is linear, but human evolution is not.  
  1. Our ancestors had the same level of sophistication or higher than the modern man. 
  1. Democracy pre-dates Greece in many parts of the world 
  1. Chiefs did not always have power, they were civil servants 
  1. Many police were also clowns. Yes, it’s true! 
  1. History of mankind is whitewashed  
  1. Man worked much less for much more through history 
  1. Mesopotamia is not the cradle of civilization; it’s what Europe sees as the cradle of the European style of civilization 
  1. Our target lifestyle might not be the best. There were better ones five thousand years ago. 
  1. Learn alternative ways of government and economics, many I deem better than our modern ones. 

Why did I read It? 

Who should read it? 

This is in my Must Read list for everyone. 

Why should you read it? 

It will make you smarter and aware of why you are the way you are. 

How many books do you read per year? 
I added this section to my book review: How many books do you read per year? To better recommend this book according to your goals and reading habits. Let me explain; I get book recommendation requests from friends, family, employees, customers, and even people in the coffee shop. I can’t just give a book recommendation of what I’m reading without knowing anything about you or your goals. For example, you might be looking for a leadership book or a Fantasy series. After I find out what your goals are, I now ask: How many books do you read per year? This is a new question, one that I didn’t ask before, later to find out that many of my friends were not following my recommendations. What if you read one book per month and I’m thinking you read one book per year? My recommendation would be very different in these cases.  

In the case of The Dawn of Everything, a 24-hour read or listen, it could take one month to listen or read if you read for one hour per day. Although I would recommend this book as a must-read for everyone I know, it might not be the first book I recommend. It’s quite long and very dense in knowledge and terminology, not the ideal candidate for, say, a young person looking to learn a bit of history. 

Narration Review 

I listened to the audiobook of Dawn of Everything. Mark Williams is a brilliant narrator of non-fiction books. Mark brings a level of sophisticated authority to the book.  

The Dawn of Everything Publisher’s Description 

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity is a 2021 book by anthropologist and anarchist activist David Graeber, and archaeologist David Wengrow. It was first published in the United Kingdom on 19 October 2021 by Allen Lane. 

Book Authors:  

David Graeber I 

David Wengrow 

Mark Williams 


Audiobook: 24 Hours 

Book: 704 Pages 

Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition (Nov, 9, 2021) 

ISBN-10: 0374157359 

ISBN-13: 978-0374157357 

About the Reviewer 

Jorge S. Olson is the author of “Build Your Beverage Empire, Third Edition,” A new edition book that helps you create a Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and beverage company. It touches on topics from getting investment for your company, business modeling, and beverage development to sales and distribution.   


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