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The Human Tide Reviews

The Human Tide by Paul Morland

The Human Tide

How Population Shaped the Modern World

Paul Morland

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: Non-fiction
Imprint: John Murray Publishers Ltd
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publication date: 10 Jan 2019
ISBN: 9781473675131

A dazzling new history of the modern world, as told through the remarkable story of population change.

3 stars out of 5
Rosamund Urwin
6 Jan 2019

"The Human Tide is packed with information."

This is, deliberately, a book for those with little knowledge of demography, but it does sometimes stray into textbook territory: too many numbers; too few characters and too little colour. There are places where the frenetic pace prevents Morland delving more into detail. He sets out the cruelty of China’s one-child policy, but swiftly glosses over India’s forced-sterilisation programme. The book is also arguably lopsided: focusing too much on Europe, at the expense of the rest of the globe.

These are niggles. What are fascinating are the author’s projections of where we are heading demographically. 

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
David Goodhart
4 Jan 2019

"The Human Tide is an admirable introduction to a vital subject."

Paul Morland is too subtle a writer to claim that demography is destiny. However, over 300 closely argued pages he more or less persuades us that it is — that most significant events since 1800, from the Industrial Revolution, via the First World War to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the eruption of the Arab Spring, have the growth, shrinkage or movement of populations at their heart...The book is not always an easy read, but is lucid, jargon-free and full of neat observations. More than half of Britain’s population lived in towns or cities in 1850, while this did not happen in France until 1950 — how much Anglo-French difference can be explained by that?...