The author of The Professor and the Madman, The Map That Changed the World, and The Perfectionists explores the notion of property—bought, earned, or received; in Europe, Africa, North America, or the South Pacific—through human history, how it has shaped us and what it will mean for our future.
“In many ways, Land combines bits and pieces of many of Winchester’s previous books into a satisfying, globe-trotting whole. . . . Winchester is, once again, a consummate guide.”—Boston Globe
Land—whether meadow or mountainside, desert or peat bog, parkland or pasture, suburb or city—is central to our existence. It quite literally underlies and underpins everything. Employing the keen intellect, insatiable curiosity, and narrative verve that are the foundations of his previous bestselling works, Simon Winchester examines what we human beings are doing—and have done—with the billions of acres that together make up the solid surface of our planet.
Land examines in depth how we determine where the land lies, how we acquire it, how we steward it, how and why we fight over it, and, finally, how we can, and on occasion do, come to share it. Ultimately, Winchester confronts the essential questions: who actually owns the world’s land, how much of it do we really need, and why does it matter?