Nomads: The Wanderers Who Shaped Our World (Hardcover)
The remarkable story of how nomads have fostered and refreshed civilization throughout our history.
Moving across millennia, Nomads explores the transformative and often bloody relationship between settled and mobile societies. Often overlooked in history, the story of the umbilical connections between these two very different ways of living presents a radical new view of human civilization. From the Neolithic revolution to the twenty-first century via the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the great nomadic empires of the Arabs and Mongols, the Mughals and the development of the Silk Road, nomads have been a perpetual counterbalance to the empires created by the power of human cities.
Exploring the evolutionary biology and psychology of restlessness that makes us human, Anthony Sattin’s sweeping history charts the power of nomadism from before the Bible to its decline in the present day. Connecting us to mythology and the records of antiquity, Nomads explains why we leave home, and why we like to return again. This is the history of civilization as told through its outsiders.
— Marc David Baer, author of The Ottomans
A fabulous piece of evocative writing, mixing personal stories with an epic sweep of history.… I loved it.
— Jerry Brotton, author of A History of the World in 12 Maps
Nomads is a thoughtful, lyrical, yet ambitiously panoramic study of what Anthony Sattin calls ‘our wandering other half.’ As fleet and light-footed as its subject, it takes us along a dizzying path, over many of the highest ridges of human history, looking down from the time when we were all nomads, and a world without walls or borders, to the divided, fractured, and hobbled world of today. It is an important, generous, and beautifully written book.
— William Dalrymple, author of The Anarchy
I was riveted by the shifts to nomadic culture, Sapiens-like, and by the feeling of learning lightly worn and deftly transmitted. This is a major book.
— Roland Philipps, author of A Spy Named Orphan
Anthony Sattin’s Nomads spreads before us a sweeping panorama of nomadism that resonates through the past and echoes poignantly even in the present.
— Colin Thubron, author of The Amur River
Brimming with literary, historical, and anthropological references…. A treat for any thoughtful traveler, armchair or otherwise.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)