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We are a wonder of evolution.
Powerful yet dextrous, instinctive yet thoughtful, we are expert communicators and innovators. Our exceptional abilities have created the civilisation we know today.

But we’re also deeply flawed.
Our bodies break, choke and fail, whether we’re kings or peasants. Diseases thwart our boldest plans. Our psychological biases have been at the root of terrible decisions in both war and peacetime.

This extraordinary contradiction is the essence of what it means to be human – the sum total of our frailties and our faculties. And history has played out in the balance between them.

Now, for the first time, Lewis Dartnell tells our story through the lens of this unique, capricious and fragile nature. He explores how our biology has shaped our relationships, our societies, our economies and our wars, and how it continues to challenge and define our progress.

Being Human is history made flesh. It will change the way you see the world.

Being Human was a Watersones Book of the Year

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  • An illuminating journey through history using our bodies as the vehicle. It’s quite a ride!Tim Marshall, author of Prisoners of Geography

  • Wide-ranging, comprehensive and refreshingThomas Halliday, author of Otherlands

  • A wild ride through science, history and prehistory, full of unexpected connections and delightful insightsTim Harford, author of How to Make the World Add Up

  • A revolutionary account of human progress. This is history as you’ve never read it before: a gripping, red-blooded narrative from a master storytellerJo Marchant, author of The Human Cosmos

  • A sublime, mind-expanding exploration of who we are and how we got hereRichard Fisher, author of The Long View

  • Brilliantly entertaining and beautifully written, Being Human forces you to see the world in a totally new way. Interdisciplinary history at its bestJonathan Kennedy, author of Pathogenesis

  • A spirited canter through the ways our biology has inescapably affected world history that’ll open your eyes and stretch your mindHenry Gee, author of A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth

  • Bursting with scientific stories, this is a fascinating exploration of how our flawed biology shapes how we live, love, thrive and die. Being Human will make you think in a new light about yourself and your speciesKat Arney, author of Rebel Cell

  • A brilliant, super-informative and enjoyable readDr Camilla Pang, author of Explaining Humans

  • Lewis Dartnell has a well-deserved reputation for engaging writing on big themes. Being Human is so engrossing that it’s hard to put downMartin Rees, author of If Science is To Save Us

  • Dartnell has done it again. Full of surprising, vivid and profound lessons, this book is quite literally wonderfulEd Conway, author of Material World

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