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Yuval Noah Harari has a penchant for dramatic phrases. The agricultural revolution, which began to unfold 12,000 years ago, is described as ‘history’s biggest fraud’. This will come as a surprise to many of Harari’s readers
There is no finer guide to the history of cartography than Jerry Brotton, and Dorling Kindersley lead the pack when it comes to producing beautifully illustrated volumes. Here, they have joined forces and the results are wonderful
In the wake of the 2007–8 food price crisis, when the cost of staples such as rice and corn rose dramatically, global corporations and governments began buying vast tracts of land in poor regions of Africa and South America
Bill Hayton's rhetorical question, ‘What happens if someone shoots an archduke?’ is especially poignant in 2014 and draws attention to both the likelihood of escalation and the global consequences
Everyone responds to the landscapes around them, but the spirit of a place can be difficult to define. It might be linked to topography or just childhood memories
A week-long exercise in creativity and consciousness-raising – not to mention letting go of boundaries – the Burning Man festival takes place in the middle of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert
The term ‘Dark Ages’ may have fallen out of favour in recent years, but our understanding of the period it describes is still mostly blank. It is considered a lost age, a time of barbarianism and basic survival
The death last July of Jume Tahir, the Imam of China’s biggest mosque, was a violent reminder of tensions in China’s vast borderlands, where Beijing rules, sometimes uneasily, over dozens of ethnic groups

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