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Owning the Earth


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From the author of the acclaimed Measuring America, a dazzling chronicle of how, throughout history and across cultures, land ownership has shaped modern society

About the Author

Andro Linklater was the acclaimed author of Measuring America, The Fabric of America, An Artist in Treason, and Why Spencer Perceval Had to Die. He lived in England.


A sweeping history of land ownership is the final work of a master ... Linklater's loss is felt all the more keenly because in Owning the Earth he has written a beautifully measured and extremely important book on the idea that "one person could own part of the Earth exclusively" * Sunday Telegraph Book of the Week *
Powerful polemic of wide scope and scholarship * The Times *
Andro's own writing was as varied and colourful as his much-travelled life ... A comprehensive account of global land ownership ... A sprawling, sparkling, off-the-wall political history of the globe * Scotsman *
This impressive book fuses politics, economics, philosophy and anthropology as it explores the complex, often fraught relationship between humans and land * Sunday Times *
Masterly ... His intellectual range is as wide as his geographic or temporal range, spanning from Hobbes to Greenspan and including philosophers, politicians, religious figures and academics; an extensive notes section and bibliography allow readers to further pursue his source ideas. By focusing on land ownership, the emphasis in historical interpretation shifts from economics to politics, giving a much different perspective. This reinterpretation of global history will give readers of history, politics, and economics much to think about * Publishers Weekly *
Ambitious global history of land ownership ... Linklater succeeds in this gargantuan task * Independent *
If the gentle reader has any concerns that a study of land ownership might tend to the dry, they will be dispelled in the very first pages of this book by the spectacular flamboyance of its opening ... A book that is never less than fascinating in its range, argument and erudition ... In an age of pigmy specialisation, there is something heroically larger-than-life about the book's global range and polymath accomplishment. And though Linklater did not live long enough to enjoy its plaudits, Owning the Earth is an appropriate monument to its author's distinguished mind and ardent humanity * Spectator *
Linklater is always an impartial and insightful referee ... The crucial insight of this book is that ownership depends not only on possession but on recognition ... Beguiling and provoking * Ferdinand Mount, London Review of Books *

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