Cassidy cherry-picks significant discoveries, from the first beer to the first joke, and brings to life the nameless discoverers, their world and their vital contribution to history ... Cassidy makes these historic discoveries relatable by making them human, giving these forgotten individuals their due ... For some readers this tone might be playful; others might bristle at the flip choice of subbing in the names of two modern-day white men for these African and Polynesian discoverers ... Making history fun is often a challenge, and here Cassidy succeeds. I read this book in one quick sip and imagine it to be a perfect gift book for young and old adults, particularly ones interested in history, but perhaps too light for serious history, science or anthropology buffs. This casual but thoughtful tour through time is a great way to travel, particularly now, when we’re all stuck at home.
... intriguing ... [Cassidy] gathers expert data to offer opinions from a variety of disciplines, including archaeology, anthropology and engineering, providing a well-rounded vision of each subject ... a fascinating dive into the history of us all.
Cassidy embarks on a wide-ranging, far-flung journey of curiosity that easily engages the reader. Chapters are brimming with history that may surprise readers as well as compel them to further investigate.
What is interesting in the research has more to do with the why and how than the individual involved. Throughout these chapters, the subjects of which may strike readers as random, whoever did it remains a matter of speculation, but the significance of the legacy that followed is a story worth telling. The Sources and Further Reading section will prove helpful for readers seeking deeper dives into the various subjects ... A breezy read through millennia of human development.
... illuminating and entertaining ... Cassidy humanizes prehistory with wit and a firm grasp of the science behind these anthropological case studies. Enthralled readers will develop a new appreciation for the ancient past.