Charting the relentless trajectory of humankind across time and geography, Tony McMichael highlights the changing survival patterns of our ancient ancestors, who roamed the African savannahs several million years ago, to today's populous, industrialized, and globalized world. McMichael explores the changes in human biology, culture, and surrounding environments that have influenced patterns of health and disease over the course of humankind's history, arguing that the health of populations is primarily a product of the interaction of human societies with the wider environment, its various ecosystems, and other life-support processes. Tony McMichael is professor of epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has held positions in Australia, USA, and UK, and has taught widely in Asia, Africa, and Europe. He has advised WHO, UNEP, the World Bank and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on public health issues. His previous book, Planetary Overload (Cambridge University Press, 1993) was a widely acclaimed and influential account of global environmental change and the health of the human species.