The Journey of Humanity takes on the huge task of explaining how humanity got to this point, which the author calls the Mystery of Growth. The second half explains why this growth has not been universal across nations, which the author calls the Mystery of Inequality.
From the Malthusian (hunter-gatherer) epoch to the Neolithic (agricultural) Revolution to the Industrial Revolution and concluding now in the Technological Era, the book looks closely at what drives lifestyle improvements. Has the Demographic Transition, where families have less children due to the cost of training them in advanced skills, promoted prosperity? Did allowing non-native citizens to share in the nation’s wealth increase or decrease growth?
These and more questions are answered within The Journey of Humanity. However, the author does not provide a suggested solution beyond a rather simplistic “don’t force a developed world solution on a developing world’s entirely different culture”. In addition, the book is written like a college textbook with a large and technical vocabulary that may trouble some readers looking for a more popular science level of prose. 3 stars.
Thanks to Dutton Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.