Second only to Biology, Geography is a key constraining factor on human history. In particular, geography places critical constraints on the type of food that can be acquired in any one area. Unfortunately, Geography has fallen out of favor for explaining human history, so there are not as many books on the subject as I think that there should be.
I recommend that you read these book summaries in the following order:
- “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond
- “Origins: How Earth’s History Shaped Human History” by Lewis Dartnell
- “Revolutions That Made the Earth” by Tim Lenton and Andrew Watson
- “Biogeography and Long-Run Economic Development” by Olsson and Hibbs
- “Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development” by Easterly and Levine
If there is a book that you find particularly interesting, please support the author by buying the book.
At the risk of shameless self-promotion, I believe that my book, “From Poverty to Progress,” gives an excellent overview on the geographical constraints on human development.