A New York Times-bestselling author explains how the physical world shaped the history of our speciesWhen we talk about human history, we often focus on great leaders, population forces, and decisive wars. But how has the earth itself determined our destiny? Our planet wobbles, driving changes in climate that forced the transition from nomadism to farming. Mountainous terrain led to the development of democracy in Greece. Atmospheric circulation patterns later on shaped the progression of global exploration, colonization, and trade. Even today, voting behavior in the south-east United States ultimately follows the underlying pattern of 75 million-year-old sediments from an ancient sea. Everywhere is the deep imprint of the planetary on the human. From the cultivation of the first crops to the founding of modern states, Origins reveals the breathtaking impact of the earth beneath our feet on the shape of our human civilizations.