Land is central to our existence, whether meadow or mountainside, desert or peat bog, parkland or pasture, suburb or city. It quite literally underlies and underpins everything. Employing the keen intellect, insatiable curiosity, and narrative verve that are the foundations of his previous bestselling works, Simon Winchester examines what we human beings are doing–and have done–with the billions of acres that together make up the solid surface of our planet.

Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World examines in depth how we acquire land, how we steward it, how and why we fight over it, and finally, how we can, and on occasion do come to share it. Ultimately, Winchester confronts the essential question: who actually owns the world’s land–and why does it matter?