Graeber and Wengrow’s Middle Ages

Anarchist Studies - ISSN 2633-8270
Volume 32 Number 1 (2024)

Graeber and Wengrow’s Middle Ages
Bernard Gowers pages 92-108


David Graeber and David Wengrow’s 2021 monograph The Dawn of Everything offers an anarchist approach to world history. It has received considerable critical and popular attention, and is a welcome historiographical contribution, due to its broad range, and rejection of technological and environmental determinism. This review article discusses the book’s treatment of medieval Europe. It identifies serious limitations, which derive from Enlightenment assumptions which remain widespread, and create an impediment to understanding the Middle Ages in particular, and the social possibilities of religion more generally. Drawing on the observations of the anarchist medieval historian Ian Forrest, and the strengths of other elements of The Dawn of Everything, this piece suggests how medieval Europe can contribute to a historiography that is alert to possibilities for human freedom and solidarity.

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To cite this article
Bernard Gowers (2024) Graeber and Wengrow’s Middle Ages, Anarchist Studies, 32(1), 92-108

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