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Ten Species that Changed our World


368 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $16.95 (US $16.95)

Publication Date: November 2018

ISBN 9781786090010

Rights: US

Penguin Random House UK (Nov 2018)
Windmill Books

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For readers of Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens, Alice Roberts's groundbreaking new book reveals how taming our most important animals and plants changed these species—and us—forever

In Tamed, Alice Roberts uncovers the deep history of 10 familiar species with incredible wild pasts: dogs, apples and wheat; cattle, potatoes and chickens; rice, maize and horses—and, finally, humans. She reveals how becoming part of our world changed these animals and plants, and shows how they became our allies, essential to the survival and success of our own species. Enlightening, wide-ranging and endlessly fascinating, Tamed encompasses thousands of years of history and archaeology alongside cutting-edge genetics and anthropology. Yet it is also a deeply personal journey that changes how we see ourselves and the species on which we have left our mark.


"A masterpiece of evocative scientific storytelling." —Brian Cox, author, Why Does E=MC2?

"Epic and joyous, a landmark in the story of us." —Adam Rutherford, author, A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

"The history of humanity . . . is a teeming subject, about which Roberts is multiply qualified to write, as an anatomist, archaeologist, anthropologist, paleopathologist and professor of public engagement in science. Roberts remains composed, engaging and undogmatic throughout. . . . Tamed is an excellent point of entry for anyone who wants to understand the new deep human history and what it portends." —Guardian

"Tamed may be the title of Alice Roberts' latest book, but the writing is anything but tame. Lyrical storytelling untangles the current thinking on how we've entwined our lives with those of plants and animals. From dogs to apples to potatoes to chickens, Roberts provides fascinating insights into domestication, offering anecdotes from past and present that link genetic and archaeological findings." —Book of the Month, BBC Wildlife Magazine

"Superb: fascinating, intimate biographies of the species that have shared our white-knuckle ride to the present and have helped to make us what we are. Read if you want to know what and why you are." —Charles Foster, author, Being a Beast

"A fascinating look at thousands of years of history, and readers can easily dip in and out to their liking. --Woodburn Independent

Author Biography

Alice Roberts is an anthropologist, writer and broadcaster. Her previous books include The Complete Human Body and The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being, and she hosts such BBC series as The Incredible Human Journey and Origins of Us. Tamed was a Book of the Year 2017 for the Economist and Mail on Sunday.