Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World

Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World

by Simon Winchester (Author)

The author of The Professor and the Madman and The Perfectionists explores the notion of property—our proprietary relationship with the land—through human history, how it has shaped us and what it will mean for our future. Land—whether meadow or mountainside, desert or peat bog, parkland or pasture, suburb or city—is central to our existence. It quite literally underlies and underpins everything. Employing the keen intellect, insatiable curiosity, and narrative verve that are the foundations of his previous bestselling works, Simon Winchester examines what we human beings are doing—and have done—with the billions of acres that together make up the solid surface of our planet.

Land: The Ownership of Everywhere examines in depth how we acquire land, how we steward it, how and why we fight over it, and finally, how we can, and on occasion do, come to share it. Ultimately, Winchester confronts the essential question: who actually owns the world’s land—and why does it matter? 

Book Title: Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World

Author: Simon Winchester

Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Cultural Anthropology


"Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World" is a captivating exploration of the profound impact that land ownership has had on the course of human history, from the dawn of civilization to the present day. With his characteristic storytelling prowess, Simon Winchester delves into the complex relationship between people and land, examining how the desire to possess and control territory has driven individuals, nations, and empires to both great achievements and devastating conflicts.

Through a series of vivid historical accounts, Winchester illustrates how the concept of land ownership has influenced everything from politics and economics to culture and religion. He explores the ancient land tenure systems of Mesopotamia, the rise and fall of feudalism in Europe, the colonization of the Americas, and the ongoing struggles for land rights around the world.

Winchester also investigates the psychological, social, and environmental consequences of land ownership, revealing how our attachment to land can both enrich and impoverish our lives. He argues that while land ownership can provide a sense of security, belonging, and identity, it can also lead to greed, inequality, and conflict.

With its insightful analysis, rich storytelling, and global scope, "Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World" offers a thought-provoking exploration of one of the most fundamental aspects of human existence. It is a must-read for anyone interested in history, anthropology, economics, or the complex relationship between humans and the land they inhabit.


1 pages
January 19, 2021