In an extended interview, we speak with archeologist David Wengrow, who co-authored the new book “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity” with the late anthropologist David Graeber. The book examines how Indigenous cultures contributed greatly to what we have come to understand as so-called Western ideas of democracy and equality, but argues these contributions have been erased from history. “What the broad sweep of history shows is that living in large-scale, densely populated, technologically sophisticated societies really doesn’t require people to simply give up social freedoms,” says Wengrow. The two completed the book just weeks before Graeber died unexpectedly last year at the age of 59. Graeber is credited with helping to coin the phrase “We are the 99%.” His book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” made the case for sweeping debt cancellation.
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