Here, in a brisk but never breathless telling, is the story of man—how he came to be, how he made the world, and how he has remade it to suit his changing self, over and over again. It’s the story of who we are, where we have been, and, in its concluding, speculative chapters, where we may be going. The teller is David Fromkin, a professor of international relations, history, and law at Boston University, and a sometimes contributor to these pages. He’s an optimist, a believer in progress, an unashamed champion of Western ideals. He’s sane. He’s trustworthy. He’s eminently intelligible. He applies his broad brush with measured, confident, upward-leading strokes. He is, in short, a refreshing, even necessary, antidote to all those fevered end-time fantasists whose only plausible scenario for man is to send him, banging and whimpering and unredeemed, over the edge and into the abyss.



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