WH Allen bags German bestseller A Short History of Humanity

WH Allen bags German bestseller A Short History of Humanity

W H Allen has bagged German bestseller A Short History of Humanity by Johannes Krause and Thomas Trappe.

Drummond Moir, Ebury deputy publisher, acquired world English rights from Ullstein, which originally published the book in 2019 in Germany, where it spent 33 weeks in Der Spiegel's bestseller list. Hilary Redmon at Random House will publish simultaneously on 8th April 2021, and translation rights have sold so far in 15 territories.

A Short History of Humanity: How Migration Made Us Who We Are uses the young science of archaeogenetics (the study of ancient DNA) to find new answers to some of the oldest and most fundamental questions of our history. The book charts two millennia of adaption, movement and survival, from our earliest ancestors through to modern Homo Sapiens.

Lead author Johannes Krause is director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Humanity. He led the team that discovered a new species of human, the Denisovan, in 2010, and he has been described by Nature as a “rising star of science”. His co-author Thomas Trappe is one of Germany’s leading health journalists.

Moir said: “The best history books often feel deeply relevant to our times. First and foremost a thrilling historical narrative, A Short History of Humanity also carries a political message about the role immigration has played in human success, as well as an existential one about survival. Our species has often found itself on the precipice: for several hundred thousand years, it looked as though Neanderthals had the upper hand; at another point, there were just some thousands of humans struggling to survive in the wake of sudden changes to Europe’s climate. So as well as being a radical new telling of our shared story, this book is a reminder that the global problems that keep us awake at night: climate catastrophe—the sudden emergence of global pandemics; refugee crises; ethnic conflict; over-population—are all things we’ve faced, and overcome, before.”