The First of Everything: A History of Human Invention, Innovation and Discovery
By Stewart Ross
A lively and highly readable account of the origins, invention and discovery of just about everything on the planet, the truly global coverage of The First of Everything ranges from the Big Bang to driverless cars. The First of Everything follows a context-setting introduction with seven stimulating sections: In the Beginning (The Big Bang to Homo Sapiens), At Home (the first glass windows to dentures and bikinis); Health and Medicine (herbs to heart transplants); Getting About (donkeys to double deckers); Science and Engineering (potter's wheel to webcam); Peace and War (the first king to fighter-bombers); and Culture (cave painting to rap). This fascinating book takes in the full sweep of human development and ingenuity over twelve millennia; Africa, for example, gave us the first monarch, algebra and great religions emerged from the Middle East, democracy was born in Europe, and America made the first flying machines. More than just a string of dry lists, the colourful text's intriguing insights and asides make it as enjoyable for the casual browser as the more serious researcher.