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: These first real humans beings we know of in Europe appear already to have belonged to one or other of at least two very distinct races. One of these races was of a very high type indeed; it was tall and big brained. One of the women's skulls found exceeds in capacity that of the average man to-day. One of the men's skeletons is over six feet in height. The physical type resembled that of the North American Indian.... They were savages, but savages of a high order. -from "The First True Men" When H. G. Wells published this popular history of planet Earth in 1922, the highest off the surface humans had reached was seven miles, barely 37,000 feet; the best guess at the planet's age was merely "more than" 2 billion years; the beginnings of organic life on Earth were still little understood. But with all the confidence of his immense genius and wide-ranging appreciation for all things scientific, Wells presents a readable, concise survey of the state of knowledge at his time about the planet and human presence upon it. Wells asks that you read this hefty 1922 work-adapted from his two-volume Outline of History, published in 1920-"straightforwardly almost as a novel is read," and indeed, this story of Earth, from its very formation and the first appearance of homo sapiens through the Russian Revolution and the reconstruction after World War I, reads like the most thrilling adventure story ever told. Though it has been factually supplanted by scholarship that came after it, this remains an engaging history, a classic of science fact from one of the fathers of modern science fiction. British author HERBERT GEORGE WELLS (1866-1946) is best known for his groundbreaking science fiction novels The Time Machine (1895), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898).