Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

TAMING THE FOUR HORSEMEN: Radical Solutions to Defeat Pandemics, War, Famine and the Death of the Planet by Robin Hanbury-Tenison book review

TAMING THE FOUR HORSEMEN: Radical Solutions to Defeat Pandemics, War, Famine and the Death of the Planet by Robin Hanbury-Tenison book review
10 Jul
by Robin Hanbury-Tenison • Unbound • £8.00 (paperback)

Robin Hanbury-Tenison has lived an extraordinary life. A former vice-president of the RGS-IBG, he co-founded Survival International, and established a company that values forests on their ability to sequester CO2. His love for our planet radiates clearly, for he is but ‘the beneficiary of the clean air welling up from the greenery below’.

Displaying an in-depth knowledge of ancient peoples, Hanbury-Tenison encounters remarkable parallels with modern humans. The Maya Civilisation reached a peak population density that rivals the highest of today’s nations, yet they overharvested the natural resources on which they depended. Hanbury-Tenison retraces the demise of these early human societies to proffer an urgent warning: we must learn from history, and mobilise what they did not have – modern technology.

In a run-down of some of the latest innovations humanity has to offer, he offers radical (and sometimes controversial) solutions. A microbe-driven revolution can economise food production and empower modern medicine; the ability to engineer weather systems can save drought-stricken regions; and by making renewable technologies economically sound, we can forge a sustainable world. Yet, beneath it all is a simple message: humanity must re-educate its relationship with the natural world and accept our dependence on the biosphere.

Subscribe to Geographical today for just £38 a year. Our monthly print magazine is packed full of cutting-edge stories and stunning photography, perfect for anyone fascinated by the world, its landscapes, people and cultures. From climate change and the environment, to scientific developments and global health, we cover a huge range of topics that span the globe. Plus, every issue includes book recommendations, infographics, maps and more!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

geo line break v3


DurhamBath Spa600x200 Greenwich Aberystwythherts




Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...


Jonathan Drori CBE FRGS is the author of the international…


Explore the month's best nonfiction reads 


by Jonathan Drori, illustrated by Lucille Clerc • Laurence King Publishing


Your monthly dose of recommended nonfiction reads for June


by Jemma Wadham • Allen Lane


Read on for all of Geographical’s May book reviews