The Horse

A Galloping History of Humanity

  • Language:
  • English (United States)
    Dutton/Penguin USA
  • English (Canada)
    Penguin Canada
About The Horse:

From New York Times bestselling author of The Mosquito, the incredible story of how the horse shaped human history

Timothy C. Winegard’s The Horse is an epic history unlike any other. Its story begins more than 5,500 years ago on the windswept grasslands of the Eurasian Steppe; when one human tamed one horse, an unbreakable bond was forged and the future of humanity was instantly rewritten, placing the reins of destiny firmly in human hands.

Since that pivotal day, the horse has carried the history of civilizations on its powerful back. For millennia it was the primary mode of transportation, an essential farming machine, a steadfast companion, and a formidable weapon of war. Possessing a unique combination of size, speed, strength, and stamina, the horse dominated every facet of human life and shaped the very scope of human ambition. And we still live among its galloping shadows.

Horses revolutionized the way we hunted, traded, traveled, farmed, fought, worshipped, and interacted. They fundamentally reshaped the human genome and the world’s linguistic map. They determined international borders, molded cultures, fueled economies, and built global superpowers. They decided the destinies of conquerors and empires. And they were vectors of lethal disease and contributed to lifesaving medical innovations. Horses even inspired architecture, invention, furniture, and fashion. From the thundering cavalry charges of Alexander the Great to the streets of New York during the Great Manure Crisis of 1894 and beyond, horses have shaped both the grand arc of history and our everyday lives.

Driven by fascinating revelations and fast-paced storytelling, The Horse is a riveting narrative of this noble animal’s unrivaled and enduring reign across human history. To know the horse is to understand the world.

Critical Praise:

"They say that dogs are humankind’s best friend, but as Timothy Winegard makes clear in this sweeping book, it’s the horse that truly deserves that title—and not just that one. Horses were revolutionary political allies, tireless explorers, and our deadliest weapons of war as well. And if we’ve come so far, it’s only because the horse has carried us here, and this book masterfully maps each stage in that 5500-year epic journey."

Sam Kean, author of The Icepick Surgeon and The Disappearing Spoon

“A thorough, comprehensive look at the horse across time and space....Everything you ever wanted to know about the genus Equus."


About the Author(s):

Timothy C. Winegard is a professor of history and political science at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado, where he teaches Western Civilizations, American History and the History of Indigenous Peoples. He received his doctorate from the University of Oxford under the direction of Sir Hew Strachan, and served nine years as an officer in the Canadian and British Forces.

Other Books by Timothy C. Winegard:
  • The Mosquito