cover image Road Through Time: The Story of Humanity on the Move

Road Through Time: The Story of Humanity on the Move

Mary Soderstrom. Univ. of Regina (IPS, U.S. dist.), $22.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-88977-477-3

Soderstrom (Making Waves) gives a thought-provoking, modern overview of humanity’s grand migrations in the ancient past, framed by her own nostalgic memories of a road trip during her childhood,. Sometime between 50,000 and 80,0000 years before modern transportation, anatomically modern humans trudged their way out of Africa to every corner of the Old World not covered by ice, and then beyond. Soderstrom explores the paths these travelers took on land and by sea, the objects they carried with them, and the ways in which they transformed the world. Having painted a picture of the achievements of our species in its childhood, the author ponders whether humans will survive and thrive or be among the victims of the changes they have wrought. Soderstrom constructs a competent layperson’s guide in bright, conversational prose, skillfully using her own experiences and just-so stories about the peoples of the past as springboards to exploring humankind’s long history of migration. Extensive endnotes and a lengthy bibliography provide guideposts for intrigued readers. While acknowledging that climate change will test humankind, Soderstrom eschews doomsaying, finding hope in the resilience and ingenuity of our ancestors. (Apr.)